South Dakota State has continued it’s tear through the 2017-18 season into the Big 12 Schedule and pushed it’s win streak to nine with it’s latest victory against the Northern Iowa Panthers.
The No. 11 Jacks (9-2, 4-0) had two home dual matches this last week, and the matches were very different from one another.
Against Wyoming, SDSU fell behind by 10, but scored 20 unanswered points and defeated the Cowboys 20-18.
Against the Panthers, SDSU jumped out to an early lead and the Panthers simply couldn’t keep up.
At the 125-pound weight class, freshman Connor Brown had a decisive win over No. 18 Jay Schwarm. At one point in the first period, Brown trailed Schwarm 8-0, but managed to score eight points and tie it up. Brown struck gold in the second period when he pinned Schwarm.
“I was just thinking about coming back in the match,” Brown said after his victory.
Junior Seth Gross, who is ranked No. 1 in the 133-pound weight class, also pinned his opponent Jack Wagner, giving the Jacks a 12-0 lead.
The Panthers got back on track with a victory at the 141-pound and 149-pound weight classes, but the Jackrabbits salvaged a match as redshirt freshman Colten Carlson was beat by Max Thomsen 15-1. Carlson staved off a takedown attempt by Thomsen, which saved the Jacks a point.
“We had 45 seconds and we needed one score; I’ll put that on us,” Northern Iowa head coach Doug Schwab said. “That’s just a half step slow in some situations.”
Carlson has dropped three straight matches. His latest victory came against Utah Valley when his opponent injury defaulted.
“Colten is in a bit of a rut right now, he just has to get better on the bottom,” head coach Chris Bono said. “He’s a freshman in the spotlight.”
Bono was adamant they will be able to get Carlson on the right track.
The Jacks also had issues being a step too slow in the following match. Senior Luke Zilverberg defeated Logan Ryan 15-1 and was unable to get another point for a technical fall.
SDSU was able to put the finishing touches on the dual at the 165-pound weight class and 197-pound weight class. By the time the heavyweight class came around, the match was already decided in the Jacks favor.
Up next, the Jacks will travel to Oklahoma, to take on the Sooners.
“It’s a Big 12 conference match in Norman, Oklahoma.” Bono said. “What more could you ask for?”
The Jacks will likely be able to continue their impressive undefeated Big 12 streak going against an underperforming Sooners team. Despite this, the Jacks don’t seem to be taking the Sooners lightly.
“They are well coached. They have some high ranked kids; they are a tough team,” Bono said of the Sooners.
The Oklahoma Sooners (6-6, 2-1) have been in and out of the NCAA Top 20 Wrestling rankings this season.
Oklahoma will be coming off a 28-10 victory over the Northern Colorado Bears.
Perhaps the best wrestler for the Sooners is their No. 11 ranked 174-pounder Yoanse Mejias, who will be facing off against No. 9 David Kocer, another ranked wrestler. Kocer will be coming off of his loss to Taylor Lujan of Northern Iowa.
The Sooners’ other top wrestler, Christian Moody, will be at their 125-pound weight class. Moody, who is ranked No. 17, will have a matchup against No. 19 Connor Brown, who is fresh off of his impressive upset over Jay Schwarm.
Those two wrestlers are the only wrestlers that see themselves in the Intermat rankings, compared to South Dakota States’ four.
“We get to go down and wrestle, our guys are going to be fired up,” Bono said. “We love being on the road.”
The Big-12 matchup between the Jackrabbits and the Sooners is slated to begin at 2 p.m. Sunday.