Wrestling: Hawkeyes Win 10th Straight Dual Over Cyclones
By K.J. Pilcher and Josh Christensen, Reporters
AMES – Nick Moore will be watching a little videotape this week.
The University of Iowa 165-pound junior needs to, reminding himself of how he beat a highly-ranked opponent in the Hawkeyes’ win in the Cy-Hawk Series.
Moore capped the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes 23-9 victory over the No. 15 Iowa State with a 3-1 victory over third-ranked Michael Moreno on Sunday in Hilton Coliseum. It was one of seven wins for Iowa, which won its 10th straight dual against its archrival despite missing two starters in its lineup.
Moore scored all three points in the final 1:20, including a takedown with a minute remaining. He seemed a little confused after the dual about the scramble leading to the decisive score. Videotape will clear up what he did naturally.
“I can’t remember it,” Moore said. “I couldn’t tell you. I think I came up through his legs or something.
“I just kept wrestling.”
In the two matches they split last year, Moore only had two takedowns total. This takedown was a result of good counter wrestling and mat sense.
After giving up an escape to Moore, Moreno wasted little time diving back in to Moore’s legs. Moore defended it, locking through Moreno’s legs and coming out the back door for the takedown.
“I rolled back a little bit,” Moore said. “It’s something where you don’t want to be in that position. I got there and he was pretty deep on my legs. It worked out for me.”
Moore would prefer it didn’t come down to a scramble off the opponent’s offense, but he will take the result. Iowa Coach Tom Brands said Moore wrestled well, battling throughout the match.
“He won a big scramble,” Brands said. “We were doing some good things in that match.”
The match was considered a marquee bout, being one of only two matches that pitted ranked wrestlers and a rematch from last year’s national tournament. At one point, Moore was called for stalling and then endured a break with a ride-timing issue.
He remained composed, focusing on the things he could control.
“There were a lot of things going on in that match with riding time and getting called for stalling,” Brands said. “It didn’t even faze him and that’s good. It’s good to see.”
Moore (3-0) will be moving on quickly from his first win over a returning All-American. He beat Moreno in the previous dual, but it was Moreno who placed sixth at the NCAA meet and Moore went 1-2.
“I got that same win last year,” Moore said. “We just keep building from here. Keep everything from perspective and take it for what it’s worth.”
Iowa did have an advantage in every statistical category. Even though they expected a battle in this annual rivalry, and at times the Cyclones provided one, they controlled most of the meet. Iowa owned an edged in takedowns, 15-9, and were more dominant on the mat. Iowa had eight nearfall points and earned five riding-time points to none by Iowa State in either category.
The Hawkeyes (4-0) had a hard time breaking open matches, post two major decisions. Sixth-ranked Mike Evans opened the dual with a 10-1 win over Tanner Weatherman, ranked as high as eighth nationally, at 174. Top-ranked Tony Ramos added a 16-5 win over Dakota Bauer at 133, tallying seven takedowns and amassing 3:43 of riding time.
“I think we were definitely looking for bonus points,” Evans said. “When you go out and wrestle a team like Iowa State, they want to keep it close; because that’s the way they can beat you in those favored matches. It’s hard to do that.”
Bonus points was an emphasis to start this season and the Hawkeyes missed out on more by a point when Josh Dziewa racked up six nearfall points and two reversals for a 12-5 win over Gabe Moreno at 141. Ethen Lofthouse (184) and Derek St. John added four-point decisions.
The Hawkeyes have to push through others’ strategy to slow the action.
“We have to handle that better,” Brands said. “We had opportunities to put matches away with wider gaps and we’re missing opportunities.”
In a wild bout, Iowa’s 125-pounder Cory Clark came away with a win in his first Iowa-Iowa State dual. Clark used 2:44 of riding time for an 8-7 win over Earl Hall.
Clark scored the opening takedown but the flashy and explosive moves from Hall made the match chaotic. Hall nearly putting Clark on his back with a “cement mixer,” rolling from a front-headlock and slipping an arm behind the opponents back with a half-nelson. Hall added a second takedown to tie the score.
The Hawkeyes’ red-shirt freshman showed his toughness, preventing any back points and just giving up a takedown both times Hall attempt the move.
“It’s a position I’m sure he’s comfortable with,” Clark said. “He had plans of hitting it when it was there and I wasn’t exactly expecting it. I knew I was in danger.”
Clark answered with three points before the third period, giving him enough cushion to hold on for the win.
“I wouldn’t say it’s tough to regroup,” Clark said. “From the beginning to the end of the match, you just have to wrestle hard whether that stuff happens.”
Brands said Clark won the match on his wrestling instinct and guts.
“I don’t know how good he felt out there,” Brands said of Clark. “We have to feel better when we’re out there and when you get into a fire fight and things start unravelling a little bit, even if you don’t feel good, you still have to battle. That’s what he did.
“He ended up on top of the first (and) the second period,” Brands said. “Those were huge and a riding-time point.”
The Cyclones earned three tight wins, climbing within a point at 7-6 when third-ranked Kyven Gadson (197) and heavyweight Quean Smith had consecutive decisions.
A first-period takedown propelled Gadson to a 3-2 win over red-shirt freshman Sam Brooks, who bumped up from 184 to replace national qualifier Nathan Burak. Smith went a more dramatic route, scoring a takedown in the first five seconds of overtime for a 6-4 win over Terrance Jean-Jacques, who replaced former All-American Bobby Telford, who is sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
Smith had a second-period reversal and a takedown in the third before exploding with emotion after the win.
“It felt really good,” Smith said. “I was nervous, but at the time I was like I practice at Iowa State so I shouldn’t get nervous anymore.”
Luke Goettl scored a takedown with two seconds remaining to down Michael Kelly, 4-2, at 149. It was his second takedown of the match. It was his first win in three matches in a dual against Iowa.
“It was good to get that takedown,” said Goettl, a national qualifier at 141 last year. “I probably should have got it earlier in the match, but still got the win.”
The Cyclones (5-1) only won one match last year and were more competitive at each weight this time.
“It was a much better match than last year from top to bottom,” Iowa State Coach Kevin Jackson said. “I thought, man-for-man, our guys competed and fought hard.”
Early-season performances have created some optimism within the Cyclones camp. They see potential growing from the previous seasons.
“I think this team has the capability to do something special,” Gadson said. “I think we’re on the verge of it. It starts with beating Iowa. I know we didn’t get that done today, but we’re going to continue to improve and look to make some strides and be where we need to be in March.”
Jackson said this dual will be an essential tool for his staff and wrestlers to dissect and use to improve this season. He felt they could have won two more bouts, leaving it to bonus points, which would have still favored Iowa.
“All in all I’m proud of my guys, the way they competed (and) how they approached the match,” Jackson said. “I’m excited of the direction of the program and what we’re going to accomplish when March tolls around.”
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