Fans who enjoy close matches were royally entertained last week when the Chadron State wrestling team hosted a pair of RMAC teams in duals. Each dual featured five matches that were decided by one or two points.
The first opponent was New Mexico Highlands on Wednesday night. Both the Cowboys and the Eagles won four of the eight matches that took place, but Highlands won 26-13 after the Eagles were forced to give up 12 points because of two open weight classes.
On Friday night, Adams State won seven of the nine bouts and was a 33-11 victor, but the Eagles made things interesting, to say the least. The Grizzlies got a pin from All-American Derek Huff at 125 pounds, but none of their other wins was by more than three points, unless you count a pin in overtime.
Two more matches also went into overtime before Adams State won them.
Six Eagles won once during the two duals.
Chadron State’s winners versus Highlands were freshman Marcus Hutcherson at 125 pounds by a 4-2 score; junior Johnny Porter, who squeezed out a 3-1 decision at 165; junior Herber Shepherd, who posted a major decision at 174; and junior Rulon Taylor, a 3-1 winner at heavyweight.
Both Porter and Taylor won on the strength of third-period takedowns to break 1-1 ties. The scrappy Hutcherson had second- and third-period takedowns and gave up nothing but two escapes. Shepherd used three TDs and a two-point nearfall en route to his major verdict.
Two Eagles, Chance Karst at 133 pounds and Josh Miller at 141, each lost high-scoring bouts by two points. Karst fell behind 4-2 in the first period and never quite caught up, falling 8-6. Miller’s match against Logan Pine was knotted at 10-10 before the Highlands’ grappler won in overtime.
Chadron State’s winners against Adams State included 157-pound junior Jacob Otuafi, who opened a dual by building a 10-0 lead in the first period and ended the match with a 17-0 technical fall early in the third.
Miller, a hard-luck loser against Highlands, made sure he came out on top over the Grizzlies, using a half-Nelson to pin his opponent in the second period.
On Saturday, the Eagles will be among the nine RMAC teams gathering at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for the third annual conference tournament. The competition will be tough. Cal Baptist, CSU-Pueblo, Western State and Adams State are ranked among the nation’s Division II top 25.
N.M. Highlands 26, CSC 13
125—Marcus Hutcherson, CSC, dec. Dominic Rivera, 4-2.
133—Adrian George, NMHU, dec. Chance Karst, 8-6.
141—Logan Pine, NMHU, dec. Josh Miller 12-10 in OT
149—Reis Humphrey, NMHU, dec. Jake DeSersa, 4-1.
157—Kellen Pelzel, NMHU, tech. fall Jacob Otuafi, 17-0.
165—Johnny Porter, CSC dec. Allen Michel, 3-1.
174—Heber Shepherd, CSC, major dec. Kenny Yara, NMHU, 9-1.
184—Jonathan Bechtloff, NMHU, won by forfeit.
197—Chris Collins, NMHU, won by forfeit.
Hwt—Rulon Taylor, CSC, dec. Gabe Esconbedo, 3-1.
Adams State 33, Chadron State 11
157—Jacob Otuafi, CSC, tech. fall Josh Sales, 17-0.
165—Koery Windham, ASU, pinned Johnny Porter in OT.
174—Isaac Lopez, ASU, dec. Heber Shepherd 3-1 in OT.
184—Richard Bencomo, ASU, dec. Devin Stork, 4-2.
197—Joe Bencomo, ASU, won by forfeit.
Hwt—Tuli Laulu, ASU, dec. Rulon Taylor, 4-3 in OT.
125—Derek Huff, ASU, pinned Marcus Hutcherson, 2:06.
133—Luis Gurule, ASU, dec. Chance Karst. 8-7.
141—Josh Miller, CSC, pinned Marquel Parks, 4:45.
149—Natrelle Demison, ASU, dec. Jake DeSersa, 6-3.