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Bonus points lead Air Force to 25-17 win over Utah Valley

USAFA, Colo. -- The Air Force Academy wrestling team concluded its home schedule in style, as they knocked off Utah Valley University, 25-17, in Big 12 dual action, Saturday evening, Feb. 16, inside Clune Arena on Senior Night. The Falcons (6-6, 2-5 Big 12) used the strength of four bonus point wins and a forfeit to take the match over the Wolverines (10-14, 1-8 Big 12).

The two teams actually split the matches, 5-5, but with a pin from senior co-captain Alex Mossing at 157 lbs., a technical fall from junior Alec Opsal at 149 lbs., and major decisions from senior John Twomey at 133 lbs. and junior Garrett O'Shea at 141 lbs., the Falcons were able to prevail in team points. Air Force also took a forfeit win at 125 lbs.

The dual started at 197 lbs., and the Wolverines jumped out to an early 6-0 lead with close decisions at both 197 and HWT from nationally ranked wrestlers. The Falcons were able to tie the score at 125, however, with the forfeit.

At 133, Twomey got multiple tilts for backpoints, and racked up over two minutes of riding time to roll to an 11-0 major decision win. His first major decision win of the season moved his overall record to 15-11.

O'Shea followed up Twomey with another major decision, as the New Jersey native used his riding time to get the 9-1 score, extending Air Force's lead to 14-6 midway through. O'Shea is now 17-10 on the year, and 6-3 in duals.

The bonus point train continued rolling at 149, as Opsal controlled the match from start to finish in a 15-0 drubbing. It was Opsal's first tech fall of the season. Completing the bonus point flurry at 157, Mossing capped off his stellar home career and wrapped up the dual win with a second period fall, his second of the weekend and team leading seventh of his season. With three matches to go, Air Force held the decided 25-6 lead.

UVU made the most of the final three matches, winning them all including a technical fall of their own at 165, but in the end it was Air Force coming away victorious.

With the home slate concluded, there is just one final tune up before the Big 12 Conference Championships when the Falcons head up the road to Greeley next Sunday, Feb. 24, to take on rival Northern Colorado. Start time against the Bears is set for 2 p.m.

Results:
197: No. 14 Tanner Orndorff (Utah Valley) over No. 32 Anthony McLaughlin (Air Force) (Dec 3-1)
HWT: No. 17 Tate Orndorff (Utah Valley) over Kayne Hutchison (Air Force) (Dec 5-4)
125: No. 28 Sidney Flores (Air Force) over Unknown (Forf.)
133: John Twomey (Air Force) over Isaiah Delgado (Utah Valley) (MD 11-0)
141: Garrett O'Shea (Air Force) over Dylan Gregerson (Utah Valley) (MD 9-1)
149: Alec Opsal (Air Force) over Landon Knutzen (Utah Valley) (TF 15-0)
157: No. 28 Alex Mossing (Air Force) over Spencer Heywood (Utah Valley) (Pin 3:52)
165: No. 10 Demetrius Romero (Utah Valley) over Jacoby Ward (Air Force) (TF 24-9)
174: No. 12 Kimball Bastian (Utah Valley) over Randy Meneweather (Air Force) (Dec 2-0)
184: No. 27 Will Sumner (Utah Valley) over Jake Thompson (Air Force) (Dec 9-2)

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