The Mizzou wrestling team made some noise in Hearnes Center during a midday dual against conference opponent and tenth ranked Oklahoma State over the weekend.
The Big XII Rival out of Stillwater gave Mizzou all it could handle during an early February wrestling matchup. Since December of 2018, Mizzou has gone winless against the Cowboys losing consecutive matchups by five team points in 2019 and by twenty in 2020. This year had a different ending and it was a good one. (Ranks via InterMatWrestle)
The home dual started out at the 141 lbs. weight class where junior Connor Brown stepped up a class to take on seventeenth ranked freshman Carter Young. Brown held his own for most of the match but lacked offense scoring all four of his points from escapes. Battling for all three periods, Brown fell short of pulling off a victory, losing to the Cowboy freshman by a decision of 7-4. (OKST 3, MIZZ 0)
At the 149 lbs. weight class it was a matchup between twenty third ranked Josh Edmonds of Mizzou and thirteenth rank Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma State. Edmonds got off to a good start with a punishing blast double that got the Mizzou fans on their feet. Moving late into the second period Edmonds was up 4-2 before being taken down and turned in an armbar for eventual loss by fall with nine seconds to go in the period. (OKST 9, MIZZ 0)
On to the 157 lbs. weight class was a top twenty five matchup between twenty second ranked Jarrett Jacques (Mizzou) and eighteenth ranked Wyatt Sheets (OkSt). A very defensive match all the way to the end, Jacques was down 1-0 moving into the final seconds before he was given an eventual stall call to even up the score 1-1. Only needing an escape to match Sheets’ eventual riding time point, Jacques was unable to escape causing him to lose the match by decision 2-1. (OKST 12, MIZZ 0)
Next up for the Tigers at the 165 lbs. weight class was undefeated and second ranked Keegan O’Toole (Mizzou) against Oklahoma State’s tenth ranked Travis Whittlake. This battle between two top ten wrestlers saw O’Toole get out to a 2-0 lead before giving up an escape at the end of the first and then again in middle of the second period. A quarter way into the third period, O’Toole grabbed his final escape giving him a 3-2 lead goin on to win the match by decision. (OKST 12, MIZZ 3)
At the 174 lbs. weight class it was Mizzou’s unranked freshman Sean Harman taking on Oklahoma State’s tenth ranked Dustin Plott. Harman, standing in for Peyton Mocco, put on a show for the Mizzou fans. Early in the first period Harman fell behind 2-0 after a challenged takedown call went against him on the boundary line. A couple of escapes both ways, an important stalling call against Plott, and a reviewed officiating error took us into the third period with Plotts up 3-1. Early in the third, Harman makes a quick escape while aggressively shooting his opponent out of bounds gaining a penalty stall point which knotted the score up 3-3. Immediately after, a failed double leg attempt by Plott and a funky roll through by Harman gave Harman a two point take down and a 5-3 lead. With a minute left to go in the match Plott got a one point escape and the match came to an end with Harman upsetting the tenth ranked wrestler at 174 by decision and a much needed team win. (OKST 12, MIZZ 6)
Starting into the 184 lbs. weight class was a matchup of twenty fourth ranked Jeremiah Kent (Mizzou) and eleventh ranked Dakota Geer. Simply a quiet match, the first points were not scored until a minute left in the second period with a two point reversal by Oklahoma State Geer giving him a 2-0 lead. The rest of the match was a ride-out and a two point decision for Cowboys Geer. (OKST 15, MIZZ 6)
Entering the back half of the dual is where the excitement regained momentum at the Hearnes. Mizzou’s 197 lbs. Rocky Elam (Ranked 9th Nationally) took on an unranked Gavin Stika who was filling in for injured and number one ranked AJ Ferrari (OkSt.). Rocky Elam put the first points up with a strong right handed high crotch into a double leg and never looked back. Finishing the match with an escape, three more takedowns, and riding time, Elam capped off an impressive outing taking the win by decision 10-3. (OKST 15, MIZZ 9)
The next bout on the night was at the 285 lbs. weight class between nineteenth ranked Zach Elam (Mizzou) and thirty third ranked Luke Surber (OkSt). The match opened up with an early scramble giving Suber the take down with Elam responding quickly with a two point reversal (2-2). Moving into the final minute of the first period Elam locked up a cradle that broke loose on the roll through which put him in trouble. Bridging out of bad position, Elam rolled through putting Surber straight to his back for the pin and sent Tiger fans to their feet. Elam walked away with Mizzou’s first bonus points of the night, winning by fall. (OKST 15, MIZZ 15).
With the win train and momentum rolling the Tiger Style way, we enter the most exciting match of the night for the Tigers. The 125 lbs. weight class showcased eighteenth ranked Noah Surtin (Mizzou) and unranked Alexander Yokubaitis (OkSt). Opening the first period, Surtin took control of the match with two take downs while escaping a close call, nearly getting caught on his back. With total control going from the second into the third period, Surtin accumulated multiple takedowns and stalling calls in his favor changing the score to 16-5 with a little over a minute left in the third period. Surtin then locked up a mixer flipping Yokubaitis to his back for the eventual fall, sending the Mizzou faithful into a cheering frenzy! Surtin locked up a win and gave Mizzou a six point advantage moving into the final match of the dual. (OKST 15, MIZZ 21)
The final match of the evening belonged to the 133 lbs. weight class in a matchup between Mizzou’s unranked Trey Crawford and Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix who came in ranked second in the nation at his weight. Fix opened the match with an early take down finishing the first period 8-3. Continuing to control the tempo of the match, Fix worked his way through the second period picking up nine more points giving him a 17-6 lead with the final period looming important. Fix needing a fall (6 points) to tie up the dual only managed to get a technical fall in the winding seconds of the match winning by a score of 22-7. Crawford knew his assignment going into the final match and while you don’t enjoy losing, he did what needed to be done against one of the top wrestlers in the nation to give his team the win. (OKST 20, MIZZ 21)
Mizzou Wrestling is heating up once again and coming off an exciting home dual knocking off tenth ranked Oklahoma State by team score of Mizzou 21 Oklahoma State 20, they will look to keep the momentum rolling. Traveling to Tempe Arizona on February 12 and then back home against Iowa State on the 16th, there will be important head to head matchups with seeding implications for the Big XII tournament and NCAA seedings. Tiger Style has the fans chirping at Mizzou once again and they don’t look to slow down anytime soon!