in ,

UCO rallies past Nebraska Kearney

KEARNEY, Neb. (Feb. 16) – Hunter Jump’s match-winning takedown at the final buzzer highlighted a closing surge that lifted top-ranked Central Oklahoma to a come-from-behind 20-13 victory over No. 7 Nebraska-Kearney Friday night at the Heath and Sports Center.

The Bronchos won six of the final seven bouts to overcome a 10-0 deficit in winning their 21st consecutive dual. UCO improved to 14-0 overall and 4-0 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics action with its 21st straight league win.

UNK led 10-0 after three matches, but 149 Dylan Brown got the Bronchos going with a 3-0 shutout at 149. Gabe Johnson followed with a technical fall and Jump’s last-second victory at 165 put UCO on top 11-10.

Anthony DesVigne had a 10-3 upset at 174 before the Lopers won at 184 to pull within 14-13. National champions Dalton Abney and Shawn Streck closed out the clutch rally with tough wins over ranked opponents in the final two bouts.

It marked the 100th dual win for head coach Todd Steidley, who improved to 100-12 in his eighth year at the helm. The Bronchos go to Fort Hays State at 2 p.m. Saturday looking to claim their fourth straight MIAA title and finish off just  the fifth unbeaten dual season in school history. 

“That was a great dual and I was proud of the way our guys competed,” Steidley said. “We wrestled hard and beat a good team. UNK came out ready to go. They punched us in the mouth early, but I like the way we responded.

“The guys kept wrestling and they made some things happen. We scored a lot of big points at the end of periods, which was huge.”

The Lopers had UCO on the ropes early with wins in the first three weights, including a last-second major decision at 133, but the Bronchos had an answer.

Brown provided a spark with the first win of the night for UCO. The 10th-ranked junior broke a scoreless deadlock at 149 with a reverse midway through the second period, then added a third-period escape for a 3-0 shutout that got the Bronchos going.

Johnson dominated in the following match to get UCO close. The third-ranked sophomore had four takedowns in taking a 13-3 lead late in the match, then struck for a takedown and four-point near-fall in the final 10 seconds to secure a big 20-3 technical fall with his seventh straight win.

Jump put the Bronchos on top to stay in dramatic fashion.

The ninth-ranked junior trailed Kaden Hart 4-2 in the closing seconds, but kept on the attack and turned a single-leg shot with nine seconds remaining into the winning takedown at the buzzer. UNK challenged the call, but a video review upheld the takedown and UCO led 11-10.

DesVigne followed with an impressive win at 174. The seventh-ranked senior had a takedown in each period, including one with three seconds left in the second stanza, to knock off No. 4 Trenton Munoz 10-3.

UNK made it 14-13 at 184 when two-time All-American Billy Higgins upended fifth-ranked Garrett Wells 8-3 and that left it up to a pair of national champions to seal the deal.

The top-ranked Abney did his part. The two-time national champ scored a takedown with 23 seconds left in the first period, then added a second-period escape and third-period ride-out in blanking No. 8 Jackson Kinsella 5-0.

Streck capped the comeback with a hard-fought 4-2 triumph over No. 5 Crew Howard. The two were deadlocked 1-1 in the final period when the top-ranked Streck finally broke through, securing the winning takedown with 49 seconds left before giving up a late escape.

UCO 20, Nebraska-Kearney 13

125 – Zach Durada, UNK, dec. Garrett Steidley, 5-1.

133 – Drew Arnold, UNK, major dec. Peter Rolle, 14-4.

141 – Nick James, UNK, dec. Dylan Lucas, 5-2.

149 – Dylan Brown, UCO, dec. John Burger, 3-0.

157 – Gabe Johnson, UCO, tech. fall John Hostler, 20-3 (7:00).

165 – Hunter Jump, UCO, dec. Kaden Hart, 5-4.

174 – Anthony DesVigne, UCO, dec. Trenton Munoz, 10-3.

184 – Billy Higgins, UNK, dec. Garrett Wells, 8-3.

197 – Dalton Abney, UCO, dec. Jackson Kinsella, 5-0.

Hvy – Shawn Streck, UCO, dec. Crew Howard, 4-2.

What do you think?

64 points
Upvote Downvote

Leave a Reply