Falcons Down South Dakota State for First WWC Victory
Jan. 31, 2009
USAFA, Colo. - Winning five of nine contested bouts, the Air Force wrestling team picked up its first Western Wrestling Conference victory of the season Saturday night, defeating South Dakota State, 31-19, in Clune Arena. With the win, the Falcons move to 4-9 on the season, 1-2 in the WWC, while the Jackrabbits fall to 7-8-1 overall, 0-2 in the conference.
The dual was fast-paced with five bouts ending by fall, while the 133-pound match was uncontested due to a forfeit by South Dakota State. The Falcons' Andrew Zwirlein (So., Nashotah, Wis.) was the first to register a pin, putting SDSU's Alan Marvin on his back with just five seconds remaining in the second period of the 125-pound bout. The fall was the first of the season for Zwirlein, who gave Air Force an early 6-0 lead in the team scoring
After the forfeit at 133 pounds increased the Falcons' advantage to 12-0, the Jacks came back to win the next two matches. Dustin Walraven gave SDSU their first fall of the night at the 141-pound weight class, while Nick Flynn added a decision at 149 pounds to bring the Jacks back within three points.
However, the Falcons began to turn it on again, starting with the 157-pound match. Sophomore Joseph Stafford (Loomis, Calif.) racked up an 8-0 lead over Marc Wermersen before pinning his opponent late in the opening period, while senior captain Stephen Crozier (Monona, Iowa) shut out his opponent to win a 12-0 major decision at 165 pounds.
Justin Shadrix (Jr., Bremen, Ga.), who posted the Falcons' first win in last night's contest, again came up on the winning end, picking up a 7-3 decision over Justin Retallic. Shadrix, who entered the starting lineup at last week's Borah Duals, improves to 4-2 on the season and remains undefeated in dual action at 4-0.
At 184 pounds, Brett Boyce (So., Brigham City, Utah) saw his first dual action of the season, facing Zach Blindert. Blindert scored a takedown against Boyce early in the opening period to gain the advantage and held the upper hand for nearly two minutes. However, Boyce was able to counter with a reversal, and with just 31 seconds left in the first period, Boyce registered a fall to give the Falcons an insurmountable 31-9 lead.
With the outcome of the match already determined, the Jackrabbits closed out the evening with wins in the final two bouts. In the 197-pound match-up, 16th-ranked Tyler Sorenson scored a 19-5 major decision after putting together a strong second period. Meanwhile, in the heavyweight bout, Jason Stripling scored the second fall of the evening for South Dakota State, using a quick third-period reversal to put the Falcons' Stephen Larson on his back.
Air Force will take a break from dual action next week, Feb. 7, as it heads to Lexington, Va., for the annual All-Academy Championships, hosted this year by VMI. Meanwhile, a second group of Falcons will compete in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Open in Golden, Colo.
Air Force 31, South Dakota State 19