Mizzou Wrestling built out a large lead in the second half of tonight’s dual to win 30-6 in a night filled with close matches and a few missed opportunities. Still a solid margin of victory for the Tigers, they came close to another shutout but were unable to finish off a few top-10 wrestlers for the Mountaineers.
125lbs: #4 Noah Surtin (MIZ) over NR Jace Schafer (WVU), 17-2 Tech Fall (6:35)
Noah Surtin, wrestling with a neck brace tonight, set the tone of the match with a takedown in the first minute. Riding strong with multiple mat returns, he almost secured a pin but instead scored a three-point nearfall in the final seconds of the period for a 6-0 lead. Surtin extended his lead with a nice duck under for a takedown, he rode out the period again to head into the final two minutes with a 9-0 advantage and 3:37 in riding time.
Starting on bottom in the third period, he scored the quick reversal for an 11-0 lead before working on bottom to try and get the pin. When that wasn’t working, he cut Schafer to go for the tech fall with roughly 75 seconds remaining, showing off his finesse game with two more takedowns for the 17-2 tech fall. He continues to show himself as a contender in his class, and gave the Tigers a strong start.
Mizzou: 5 - West Virginia: 0
133lbs: #24 Kade Moore (MIZ) over NR Davin Rhoads (WVU), Victory by Fall (2:56)
Moore scored early and often in the first period, getting a takedown in the first 20 seconds and immediately cutting Rhoads to look for more points. He added on two more takedowns in the next minute for a 9-2 lead before looking to ride.
The strategy turned out to be golden for Moore as he pinned Rhoads in the final seconds of the period, earning his team six points. Moore seems to have an endless supply of energy out on the mat, and can beat you just about every way possible. He’s got the biggest test of his career coming up against defending national champion Vito Arujau on Sunday at Cornell.
Mizzou: 11 - West Virginia: 0
141lbs: #13 Jordan Titus (WVU) over #21 Josh Edmond, (RT) 2-2 Decision
This match was thrilling from the start as Edmond came out highly aggressive, throwing Titus to the mat multiple times. Titus spun out and avoided the takedown both times, however, and gained the upper hand in some intense scrambling to keep the match scoreless at the end of the first period.
Edmond quickly escaped from bottom to start the second period and take a 1-0 lead. He nearly got around on Titus in the final seconds of action, but was unable to get in position before the buzzer sounded. Titus got the quick escape at the beginning of period three, tying the action at 1-1. With both wrestlers getting in good shots but countering each other in the final minutes of regulation, we were treated to some free wrestling.
Edmond and Titus got in their best shots during the first overtime period, with some rapid scrambling nearly leading to takedowns for both wrestlers at different points. With another scoreless period, we were send to double and triple overtime. Titus quickly escaped in 2OT for a temporary 2-1 lead, bringing us to the most controversial part of the match. To start 3OT, there were multiple early starts. Edmond wanted another early start called on Titus when the action began in 3OT, resulting in a slow start as he labored to escape.
Edmond escaped after roughly 20 seconds, but lost the 2-2 decision due to a deficit in riding time. This must be a frustrating match for Edmond for multiple reasons. In addition to the no-call in 3OT, he was close to scoring a takedown at several points in regulation but just couldn’t finish as Titus out-scrambled him. You could easily argue that Edmond was the better wrestler tonight, he just couldn’t finish as he picks up another close loss.
Mizzou: 11 - West Virginia: 3
149lbs: #9 Ty Watters (WVU) over #11 Logan Gioffre (MIZ), 6-1 Decision
Gioffre got the first good shot in to begin the match, literally picking up Watters at one point but couldn’t finish for the takedown. Watters responded with a shot of his own, and Gioffre briefly recovered before the Mountaineer got around for the takedown and 3-1 lead.
Gioffre started on bottom in the second period, struggling to escape and being rolled onto his back briefly by Watters before he had to pause for an injury. He was able to continue, but had to start on top when action resumed. Watters slowly got the escape for a 4-1 advantage before some nice scrambling in the final minute of the period as Watters again avoided a takedown.
With Gioffre on top again, he quickly cut Watters as he searched for takedowns to cut the deficit, 5-1. He got in another good shot, but Watters got the upper hand in the scramble once again. The final point of the match came when Gioffre swatted at Watters while looking to grab onto his neck, resulted in a penalty and 6-1 decision. Like Edmond, Gioffre got in multiple good shots but couldn’t convert for takedowns as he lost the scrambling battle.
Mizzou: 11 - West Virginia: 6
157lbs: #5 Brock Mauller (MIZ) over NR Alex Hornfeck (WVU), 16-4 Major Decision
Brock Mauller got the meet back on track for the Tigers, scoring two takedowns in the first period and showcasing his finesse attack for a 6-1 lead at the end of the period. He scored another takedown in the second period with a beautiful counter to a shot from Hornfeck, rapidly moving around his opponent to take a 9-1 lead before riding out the rest of the period.
Mauller let Hornfeck up out of the option start to begin the third period, 9-2, to search for the tech fall. He got close, scoring two more takedowns and finishing with the 16-4 major decision after the extra point for riding time. Mauller was quite simply faster than his opponent, outmaneuvering and scoring at will.
Mizzou: 15 - West Virginia: 6
165lbs: #1 Keegan O’Toole (MIZ) over #9 Peyton Hall (WVU), 8-7 Decision
Facing a top-10 wrestler in his class, O’Toole was thrown off guard to start the first period as Hall scored two takedowns in the first three minutes to lead 6-1. Starting on bottom, he escaped to cut the deficit to four before a scramble led to his first takedown of the night in the final seconds of the period, making the score 6-5 heading into period three.
He let Hall up out of the option start, 7-5, needing a takedown for the lead. Getting in on Hall’s leg, O’Toole gained the upper hand out of a scramble and took his first lead of the match with a takedown, 8-7. With under a minute remaining, O’Toole worked to ride out the period and hold on for the win. Hall nearly escaped in the final 10 seconds, even coming close to a reversal, but O’Toole just barely held on for the victory after a review by the referees.
This certainly wasn’t O’Toole’s best match, and Hall might even have gotten the best of him tonight, but the two-time national champion found a way to win in the end. That’s what two-time national champions do.
Mizzou: 18 - West Virginia: 6
174lbs: #6 Peyton Mocco (MIZ) over NR Jack Blumer (WVU), 5-1 Decision
After some nice shoots and good scrambling by both wrestlers in the first period, we entered period two scoreless. Mocco escaped from bottom after roughly 25 seconds before scoring his only takedown of the night off of some extended scrambling, taking a 4-0 lead before riding out the period.
Starting on top, Mocco rode for well over a minute to start the third period and even briefly got Blumer on his back twice. With under a minute left in the period, Blumer frantically attacked but Mocco avoided a takedown with good scrambling to earn the 5-1 decision after the extra point for riding time. This wasn’t Mocco’s greatest match, but Jack Blumer also performed remarkably tonight filling in for the Mountaineers’ usual starter at 174.
Mizzou: 21 - West Virginia: 6
184lbs: #10 Clayton Whiting (MIZ) over HM Dennis Robin (WVU), 9-6 Decision
Whiting got out to a fast start with a powerful takedown and quick 3-0 lead, adding on some riding time before a Robin escape. Robin responded with a good shot, but Whiting scrambled out of the situation to avoid the takedown.
After multiple starts and stops to begin the second period, Whiting extended the lead with a reversal, 5-1. He rode out the rest of the period, negating the riding time earned by Robin. Whiting passed the minute mark in riding time before Robin escaped in the third period, 5-2. He extended his lead with a powerful takedown, bringing Robin to the mat before getting around for the points, 8-2. He cut Robin in the final 35 seconds to look for one final takedown and a major decision, but instead it was the Mountaineers with a last-second takedown as Whiting got the 9-6 decision after the extra point for riding time. Whiting maintained control for most of the match, scrambling well and building his lead before one mistake at the end of the action put a damper on the victory.
Mizzou: 24 - West Virginia: 6
197lbs: NR Colton Hawks (MIZ) over NR Austin Cooley (WVU), 2-1 Decision
Getting Rocky Elam some rest tonight, coach Brian Smith gave Colton Hawks the start at 197. Hawks showcased strong defense in the first period, catching multiple shots from Cooley to enter period two scoreless. Hawks quickly escaped from bottom in the second period for a 1-0 lead and got in a good shot in the final 30 seconds, with Conley able to catch just enough of the attack to get back up on his feet and avoid the takedown.
On top to start the third period, he rode for almost the entire two minutes with multiple strong mat returns. Cooley escaped to “tie” the match at one with roughly 15 seconds left, but Hawks earned the 2-1 decision. He showcased plenty of talent in this low scoring match, impressing with his defense and riding ability.
Mizzou: 27 - West Virginia: 6
285lbs: #6 Zach Elam (MIZ) over NR Michael Wolfgram (WVU), 7-0 Decision
Elam took an early lead with a takedown in the first minute of action, nearly getting a quick pin but settling for a two-point nearfall and rapid 5-0 lead. Riding out the period, he piled up almost two and a half minutes of riding time in the first period.
Starting on bottom in period two, Elam extended his lead with a quick escape for the 6-0 advantage. There wasn’t much action in the rest of the match, with one good shot from Wolfgram caught by Elam. He was never in danger of losing after the beginning of the match, maintaining control for a 7-0 decision. However, you’ve got to wonder if a more aggressive approach would have led to a major decision.
Mizzou: 30 - West Virginia: 6
It’s rare that you can come away disappointed from a 30-6 victory where a team wins 8/10 matches. The Tigers came very close to a great night and just couldn’t get over the hill. The good news is they’ve got another opportunity to strut their stuff against an elite opponent this weekend when they face Cornell on Sunday at noon.