Cowboys Wrestling Earns Highest-Ranked Win in Program History

Cowboys Wrestling Earns Highest-Ranked Win in Program History

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FORT LAUDERDALE — The Cowboys opened the day with a 22-21 criteria win over No. 4 NC State. The victory marked the highest-ranked win for the Pokes on record in the program’s history, as well as the first top 10 win since 2012, when the Cowboys dropped No. 10 Oklahoma. It was also the third top-10 win of the Branch era.

The Cowboys started the first dual of the day on a high note as Cowboy junior Cole Verner pinned No. 7 Sean Fausz of NC State in the first period to take a 6-0 lead. Verner got the takedown over Fausz just 40 seconds into the bout, before getting the pin in 2:20.

The Wolfpack got on the board in the second bout of the dual as Montorie Bridges came up just short to No. 4 Tariq Wilson at 133. Bridges took a 3-2 lead into the second period after the two traded takedowns in the opening frame. Wilson scored a second takedown in the second period, but a couple of escapes from Bridges, maintained his 5-4 lead heading into the third. In the final period, Wilson was awarded a penalty point and another for escaping from bottom to come out with the 6-5 decision and cut Wyoming’s lead to 6-3.

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Coming off a strong day in Reno last week, Sam Turner kept rolling with a win over No. 15 Jamal Morris. Turner racked up a takedown and four-point nearfall in the match, nearly riding out the full third period for a would-be major decision. The Cowboy sophomore still dominated the match for an 8-1 win.

NC State would take a 14-9 lead in the following two matches with a fall over Cowboy Jed Loveless by fourth-ranked Justin Oliver and a 21-6 technical fall over Dewey Krueger by No. 5 Hayden Hidlay.

At 165 pounds, Branson Ashworth moved to 16-3 on the year and 7-3 against ranked opponents with an 8-1 decision over No. 16 Thomas Bullard to pull the Pokes back to within two at 14-12. Ashworth dominated the match, picking up a couple of takedowns and not allowing Bullard a single offensive point on the way to a convincing triumph.

NC State added a couple more wins at 174 and 184, stretching the deficit to 21-12 with just two matches to go.

Cale Davidson picked up a big upset for the Pokes at 197 pounds, dropping No. 16 Malik McDonald, 8-6, to pull Wyoming within six from the Wolfpack. After a scoreless first period, Davidson picked up a reversal and nearfall in the second to take a 6-0 lead into the third. The lead would be too much for McDonald to fight back from as Davidson snagged the victory to give the Cowboys a chance.

Heavyweight Brian Andrews matched up with Deonte Wilson, needing a fall to tie the dual and send it to criteria. Andrews picked up a takedown in the opening minute of the bout before turning Wilson for the fall to get the tie for the Pokes. With two pins to NC State’s one, Wyoming took the dual on criteria.


No. 18 Wyoming 22, No. 4 NC State 21

Dec. 29, 2018  |  Fort Lauderdale, Fla. | South Beach Duals

125: Cole Verner (WYO) fall No. 7 Sean Fausz (NCST) 2:20

133: No. 4 Tariq Wilson (NCST) dec. No. 12 Montorie Bridges (WYO) 6-5

141: No. 15 Sam Turner (WYO) dec. No. 15 Jamal Morris (NCST) 8-1

149: No. 4 Justin Oliver (NCST) fall Jed Loveless (WYO) 2:20

157: No. 5 Hayden Hidlay (NCST) MD Dewey Krueger (WYO) 20-6

165: No. 7 Branson Ashworth (WYO) dec. No. 16 Thomas Bullard (NCST) 8-1

174: No. 14 Daniel Bullard (NCST) MD Hayden Hastings (WYO) 15-3

184: No. 3 Nick Reenan (NCST) dec. Carless Looney (WYO) 8-5

197: Cale Davidson (WYO) dec. No. 16 Malik McDonald (NCST) 8-6

HWT: No. 19 Brian Andrews (WYO) fall Deonte Wilson (NCST) 2:43