COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The 9th-ranked Missouri wrestling program defeated the Ohio Bobcats 23-10 in Jesse Hall Auditorium Friday night in a catfight for supremacy in the newly renovated Mid-American Conference. The Tigers improved to 2-0 on the young season while serving the Bobcats (3-1) their first dual loss.
It was the Tiger freshmen that led the ninth-ranked Tigers to victory Friday, with consecutive wins from youngsters Barlow McGhee, Matt Manley and Lavion Mayes.
With the squad trailing 7-4, McGhee and company would regain the lead with three straight victories, highlighted by a Mayes 12-3 major decision in his first career dual start.
At 125 pounds, freshman Barlow McGhee slid past Ohio's KeVon Powell with a 2-1 decision to knot the dual up at 7. Down 1-0 with less than a minute to go, McGhee wrapped up a double leg on Powell to take the lead. Powell nearly escaped as time expired but a video review proved that McGhee never surrendered position before thetime expired.
Redshirt freshman Matt Manley followed with a 1-0 victory over Kagan Squire to give the Tigers a 10-7 lead that they would not relinquish. Manley's escape with 41 seconds to go in the second proved to be the only scoring of the match. He improved to 10-1 on the season after his first career dual win.
Mayes completed the Missouri rally by adding four more team points in his 12-3 major decision over Ohio's Noah Forrider. Mayes was able to turn Forrider in the third period to push the victory into major decision territory. Friday marked the first dual start for Mayes as well.
The Bobcats took anearly 7-4 lead on the Tigers after wins by No. 16 Phil Wellington and ninth-ranked heavyweight Jeremy Johnson. Wellington faced off Mizzou freshman, J'den Cox. Wellington connected on an early takedown in the first and another in the second, forcing Cox to battle from behind for nearly the full seven minutes. The Columbia-native nearly tied the match up late in the third but Wellington held on for a 6-4 decision. Cox entered the dual ranked eighth in the country with a record of 10-0.
Mizzou heavyweight Devin Mellon scored right out of the gate in the heavyweight bout, but No.9 Jeremy Johnson recorded two straight Single Leg takedowns and quickly regained the lead. He showed why he is a top ten wrestler in his class, scoring ten unanswered points to defeat Mellon by major decision, 11-2.
Johnny Eblen, tabbed 11th in the 184-pound weight class, gave the Tigers an early 4-0 lead by way of with a 15-4 major decision over Ohio's Ryan Garringer. Eblen was aggressive through three periods, recording four takedowns and a three-point nearfall, and added four escapes and a riding time point after controlling the clock for 4:27.
The surprise of thenight was the defeat of Mizzou's Drake Houdashelt, the top wrestler in the country at 149 pounds. Ohio's No. 18 Tywan Claxton wrestled the Missouri-captain tough in the 5-3 decision, connecting on two takedowns while halting arguably the Tigers most aggressive grappler.
Kyle Bradley, Zach Toal and Mikey England would all record decisions for the Tigers to close out Mizzou's 23-10 home opener.
Friday's wrestling dual marked the first athletic event inside the University's historic Jesse Hall. Nearly 800 Mizzou patrons attended the dual. This year's Clash of the Cats at Jesse served as a trial run for what could become an annual Mizzou Wrestling tradition.
For a quick look ahead at what is in store for the top-10 Tigers, the squad is slated to travel North to Cedar Falls, Iowa, on the 14th of December to compete in the Northern Iowa Open. They will then take a couple of weeks off for the holidays before heading to the highly-touted Southern Scuffle on New Years Day. The Tigers will be back home next on February 7, 2014, for another conference battle against Buffalo.
For an in depth look to everything Tiger Style, make sure to follow the team on Facebook, Twitter (@MizzouWrestling) and Instagram (@mizzoutigerstyle), and on MUTigers.com. Fans can join in on the conversation but using the hashtag #TigerStyle.
184 – No. 11 Johnny Eblen (MU) major dec. over Ryan Garringer (OHIO), 15-4. 4 0
197 – No. 16 Phil Wellington (OHIO) decision over No. 13 J'den Cox (MU), 6-4. 4 3
HWT – No. 9 Jeremy Johnson (OHIO) major dec. over Devin Mellon (MU), 11-2. 4 7
125 – Barlow McGhee (MU) decision over KeVon Powell (OHIO), 2-1. 7 7
133 – Matt Manley (MU) decision over Kagan Squire (OHIO), 1-0. 10 7
141 – Lavion Mayes (MU) major dec. over Noah Forrider (OHIO), 12-3. 14 7
149 – Tywan Claxton decision over No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (MU), 5-3. 14 10
157 – No. 7 Kyle Bradley (MU) decision over No. 18 Spartak Chino (OHIO), 5-3. 17 10
165 – No. 9 Zach Toal (MU) decision over Harrison Hightower (OHIO), 4-0. 20 10
174 - Mikey England (MU) decision over Marshal Willet (OHIO), 11-5. 23 10