Air Force Wrestlers Fall to Adams State, 28-16

    Feb. 6, 2004

    Alamosa, Colo.- Despite winning half of 10 individual matches, the Air Force wrestling team suffered its third dual meet loss of the season, falling to Adams State 28-16 Friday night in Alamosa. The Falcons split the 10 individual matches evenly, but could not overcome three Adams State pins and a forfeit at the 125-pound weight class due to injury. Air Force, which had won the last seven meetings between the teams, falls to 1-3 in dual competition.

    The dual started with a 8-2 win by the Falcons' Matthew Benza over Brandon Meis at 149 pounds and Air Force had jumped out to the early lead. The lead was short lived however. In the next match, Travis Koppenhafer, the nation's second-ranked 157-pounder (Div II), pinned Josh Peterson at the 2:41 mark.

    The Falcons would take control of the match by winning the next four matches to take a 16-6 edge. The streak started at 165 pounds as Blaine Brown posted a 9-4 win over the Grizzlies Scott Cleve, ranked seventh in the nation.

    Jacob Lillich then scored the only bonus-point win of the night for the Falcons scoring a third-period reversal of ASC's James Reynolds to go ahead 9-1 before using a riding time point to close out the 10-1 major decision win. Luke Lefever then took a 5-2 decision over Casey Woodall at 184 pounds as USAFA went into the intermission with a 13-6 lead. Momentum stayed in favor of the Falcons as Brenden McLean scored an 11-4 decision over Manny Pacillas at 197 pounds.

    Falcons' Kurt Skarstedt scored first at heavyweight and held a 2-0 advantage, but a late first period reversal by opponent Dustin Sullivan tied the score at two apiece. Those two points seemed to reverse the momentum of the entire dual. Starting on the bottom in the second period, Sullivan scored a quick reversal and ensuing pin just 36 seconds into the second period cutting the gap to 16-12.



    At 125, the Falcons were forced to forfeit due to an injury to two-time NCAA qualifier Heath McKim. With the forfeit, Adams State took the lead for good at 18-16,. The Falcons would lose the final two matches of the night -- one by major decision and one by fall.

    Despite losing the dual by 12 points, the Falcons outscored their opponent 49-38 and held them to just three takedowns. Air Force had 12 takedowns, but could not keep pace with ASC's bonus point victories.

    Air Force will be back in action on Sunday (Feb. 8) when they head north to Greeley to take on Northern Colorado in dual competition.

    Individual Match results
    149 Matthew Benza (USAFA) dec. Brandon Meis (ASC), 8-2
    157 #2 Travis Koppenhafer (ASC) def. Josh Peterson (USAFA), Fall (2:41)
    165 Blaine Brown (USAFA) dec. #7 Scott Cleve (ASC), 9-4
    174 Jacob Lillich (USAFA) maj. dec. James Reynolds (ASC), 10-1
    184 Luke Lefever (USAFA) dec. Casey Woodall (ASC), 5-2
    197 Brenden McLean (USAFA) dec. Manny Pacillas (ASC), 11-4
    HWT Dustin Sullivan (ASC) def. Kurt Skarstedt (USAFA), Fall (3:36)
    125 Rob McCabe (ASC) wins by forfeit
    133 #4 Kortney Lake (ASC) maj. dec. Brandon Strong (USAFA), 10-2
    141 #3 Shane Barnes (ASC) dec. Matthew Crippes (USAFA), Fall (2:18)

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