U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. – Matt Wagner led the Falcons with a decision win in the heavyweight class in the 37-3 loss to No. 14 Wyoming, Friday evening in Clune Arena. The Falcons drop to 7-5 overall with a 2-4 mark in conference action.
Wyoming got off to a hot start as Ben Hornickle posted a fall (2:31) in the opening bout at 149 to jump out to an early six-point lead.
No. 9 Archie Colgan continued to apply pressure on the Falcons as he got out to an early lead over Alex Mossing in the 157 class. Mossing managed to get a two-point throw in the third period but the effort came too late as the clock expired with the 2017 national qualifier Poke in the lead, 8-3.
No. 13 Branson Ashworth continued the Cowboys’ roll with a 9-0 major decision over Alex Lopouchanski in the 165 class, propelling Wyoming to a 13-0 lead.
At 174, Falcon Senior Michael Billingsley took on Kyle Pope. Both wrestlers tallied a takedown and an escape in the first period. A quick escape by Pope gave the Cowboy a one-point lead in the otherwise scoreless second period. Pope went on to score two takedowns to Billingsley’s two escape points in the third period, sealing the deal, 8-5.
Freshman Jimmy Weaver got his first varsity start at 184 against Wyoming senior Chaz Polson but was unable to score any points against the Poke veteran, dropping the major decision, 13-0. Freshman Casey Jumps, also making his varsity debut at 197, squared off against Cowboy senior Luke Paine. Jumps tallied an escape point but was unable to find an offensive rhythm, dropping the major decision, 10-1.
Sophomore heavyweight Matt Wagner met with Sam Eagan in the seventh bout of the evening. The wrestlers entered the third period tied at one with an escape apiece. Wagner took a single-leg shot and converted the takedown points, lifting the Falcon to a 3-1 decision at the final whistle.
In the 125 bout, the Falcons 2016 NCAA qualifier Drew Romero took on Drake Foster. Foster notched two takedowns in the first two periods while Romero tallied two escape points. Romero added a third escape point as the cowboy tacked on a riding time giving the decision to the Cowboy the cowboy, 6-3.
In the final bout of the night, sophomore Alec Opsal met with three-time All-American and NCAA finalist, No. 1 Bryce Meredith. Meredith got to Opsal’s leg early for a takedown but the Falcon showed resolve with an escape and a takedown of his own. Meredith scored a six-point move in the second period with a reversal to near fall, propelling himself to a comfortable lead. Undeterred by the deficit, Opsal continued to battle, scoring a reversal on the All-American for his fifth point of the match. Meredith narrowly escaped Opsal’s offense to seal the deal on a 13-5 major decision.
The Falcons wrap up the 2018 dual slate as they travel north to Greeley, Colo., to take on Big 12 foe, Northern Colorado, Sun., Feb. 18 at 3 p.m.
AIR FORCE vs. #14 WYOMING, Feb. 16
149: Ben Hornickle (WYO) Fall Dane Robbins (AFA) – Fall (2:31) | WYO 6, AF 0
157: #9 Archie Colgan (WYO) Dec. Alex Mossing (AFA) –8-3 | WYO 9, AF 0
165: #13 Branson Ashworth (WYO) MD Alex Lopouchanski (AFA) –9-0 | WYO 13, AF 0
174: Kyle Pope (WYO) Dec. Michael Billingsley (AFA) –8-5 | WYO 16, AF 0
184: Chaz Polson (WYO) MD Jimmy Weaver (AFA) –13-0 | WYO 20, AF 0
197: Luke Paine (WYO) MD Casey Jumps (AFA) –10-1 | WYO 24, AF 0
285: Matt Wagner (AFA) Dec. Sam Eagan (WYO) –3-1 | WYO 24, AF 3
125: Drake Foster (WYO) Dec. Drew Romero (AFA) –6-3| WYO 27, AF 3
133: #8 Montorie Bridges (WYO) FF Unknown (AFA) – Forfeit | WYO 33, AF 3
141: #1 Bryce Meredith (WYO) MD Alec Opsal (AFA) –13-5 | WYO 37, AF 3
FINAL: WYOMING 37, AIR FORCE 3