Cody Dauphin wasted little time with the outcome on the line in the final match, scoring a first-period fall to propel Central Oklahoma to a dramatic 22-16 victory over defending national champion Nebraska-Kearney Thursday night before a rowdy Hamilton Field House crowd.
Ben Morgan’s stunning final-period fall at 141 pounds helped stake the No. 3-ranked Bronchos to a big 16-0 lead after four weights, but the No. 13 Lopers won the next five matches to pull even at 16-all and set the stage for Dauphin at heavyweight.
The 270-pound junior needed just 30 seconds to take Zach Anderson down, then hooked up a half-nelson and drove the overmatched Loper to his back to get the dual-winning fall at the 1:16 mark.
“Cody came out and did what he needed to do,” UCO coach David James said. “He was aggressive from the start and really did a great job taking advantage of his size advantage. He came through when we needed him.
“We had several guys wrestle really well, particularly in the early weights, but I was disappointed with how we wrestled in some of the later matches. We knew it was going to be a tight one and fortunately we came out on top.”
The Bronchos opened the dual like they were going to run away from UNK, taking the first four weights to open up the 16-0 lead.
Ryan Brooks started things with a 4-3 overtime win at 125, escaping 12 seconds into the first tiebreaker to go ahead and then controlling Jake Gentzler in the final 30-second tiebreaker to hang on.
Casy Rowell pushed the lead to 7-0 with an overwhelming 22-8 major decision at 133, racking up an amazing 10 takedowns — including five in the third period alone — in rolling to his 14th straight win.
Morgan’s fall at 141 made it 13-0, though it looked for the longest time that UNK was going to get their first win at that weight. Andrew Riedy led 7-2 entering the final period, but Morgan got a takedown early in that stanza and then turned Riedy for the fall at 5:49.
Jordan Basks capped UCO’s opening surge with a 6-3 triumph over defending national champion and top-rated Raufeon Stots. The second-ranked Basks led 3-2 after the first three minutes, added a second-period near-fall to make it 5-2 and tacked on a riding time point to offset Stots’ third-period escape.
UNK finally got on the scoreboard at 157 with Chase White’s 3-1 sudden-victory win over Cory Dauphin that ignited a five-match winning streak to tie the score.
UCO has little time to rest, with the Bronchos traveling to Arkadelphia, Ark. Friday for a 7 p.m. dual against No. 20 Ouachita Baptist.
Central Oklahoma 22, Nebraska-Kearney 16
125 — Ryan Brooks, UCO, dec. Jake Gentzler, 4-3 (TB).
133 — Casy Rowell, UCO, major dec. Ryan Bauer, 22-8.
141 — Ben Morgan, UCO, pinned Andrew Riedy, 5:49.
149 — Jordan Basks, UCO, dec. Raufeon Stots, 6-3.
157 — Chase White, UNK, dec. Cory Dauphin, 3-1 (SV).
165 — Chase Nelson, UNK, major dec. Chris Watson, 15-6.
174 — Patrick Martinez, UNK, dec. Kelly Henderson, 5-1.
184 — Mark Fiala, UNK, dec. Tanner Keck, 5-3.
197 — Matt Lenagh, UNK, dec. Znick Ferrell, 3-2 (TB).
285 — Cody Dauphin, UCO, pinned Zach Anderson, 1:16.