FARGO, N.D. -- The Wyoming wrestling team racked-up eight match wins, four of which were bonus-point victories that included a pair of falls as the Cowboys rolled past North Dakota State, 34-6 Friday night in Fargo. Hayden Hastings at 174 pounds and Brian Andrews at heavyweight recorded the two falls for the Pokes. Wyoming improves to 4-6 overall on the season and 2-0 in Big 12 duals.
"That was a breath of fresh air," said Head Coach Mark Branch.
"Those first three guys kind of set the tone for us, we were underdogs at 141 and 149 tonight and to have two upsets to begin, I think it captured the momentum for us and quieted their crowd. "Those are important things to do on the road. It's important to win early and keep the crowd out of it. Even in our losses, the way we came back in those matches and the way the guys fought back, it kind of kept the crowd out of it still, because they had to hang on at the end."
The dual began at 133, with the most-anticipated matchup of the evening as No. 6 Montorie Bridges faced 12th-ranked Cam Sykora of NDSU. Bridges was able to get the Pokes started off right as he used a three-point second period to help him prevail over Sykora, 6-4. The win marks Bridges' ninth straight.
"They picked the weight to start at tonight," said Branch.
"They were looking to get momentum to start the dual at that weight, but I felt like Montorie executed some things we focused on this week and worked on in practice. He did a great job of riding and being tough in the top position and then chaining his moves together, which were both things we practiced. It was a big boost for the team for him to go out there and do that and execute things we've worked on and to let the guys see that what we focused on could work and to go out and execute. He gave our team confidence."
Next up, Trevor Jeffries at 141, lengthened UW's team lead thanks to a takedown in the first Sudden Victory period to defeat the Bisons' Sawyer Degen, 4-2 to push the Wyoming lead to 6-0. At 149, Jaron Jensen kept the victories rolling as he picked up a 4-3 win. Jensen trailed heading into the third period, but took a brief 3-2 lead thanks to a reversal. The Bison's Jaden VanMaanen was able to tie the bout late with an escape, but thanks to the Riding Time bonus point, Jensen was able to prevail and put the Cowboys up 9-0 in the match.
North Dakota State (4-4) got its two wins at 157 and 165 pounds as Dewey Krueger and Cole Moody dropped their respective matches, 8-4 and 10-7.
Wyoming got back on track at 174 as Hayden Hastings' return to the lineup was a memorable one. Hastings pinned NDSU's Lorenzo De La Riva early in the second period. Hastings was in control of the match from the outset, scoring six quick points in the first period and led 6-1 after one.
"That was a big win for Hayden coming back, especially since he lost to De La Riva last season at the Big 12 Tournament. Hayden watched film all week and we looked at and worked on some things with him and he was aggressive right away and put (De La Riva) on his back twice, and that really took the wind out of NDSU's sails I thought. For Hayden to come back after missing some time and take care of business like that was really big," continued Branch.
Next up, Tate Samuelson earned a major decision victory at 184 pounds over Noah Cressell, 10-1. Samuelson had a workmanlike effort, recording a takedown in the first and second period, as well as an escape and took a 5-0 lead into the final period. In the third, Samuelson got two more takedown to go up 9-1 and then got the riding time bonus.
At 197, Stephen Buchanan pulled out an exciting victory over Cordell Eaton, 4-3. Buchanan, who trailed most of the match, was able to secure a takedown near the edge of the mat with just seven seconds left to take the lead and earn a thrilling victory and put UW up 22-6.
Brian Andrews put the exclamation point on the evening for the Cowboys as he pinned No. 25 Brandon Metz is just 53 seconds to push the margin 28-6 in the dual. Doyle Trout rounded-out the evening with a forfeit win at 125 pounds.
Wyoming now shifts its focus to the South as another Big 12 opponent is on tap Sunday as the Cowboys face South Dakota State at noon, Mountain Time in Brookings.
133: No. 6 Montorie Bridges (WYO) dec. No. 12 Cam Sykora (NDSU) 6-4
141: Trevor Jeffries (WYO) dec. Sawyer Degen (NDSU) 4-2, SV-1
149: No. 19 Jaron Jensen (WYO) dec. Jaden VanMaanen (NDSU) 4-3
157: Jared Franek (NDSU) dec. Dewey Krueger (WYO) 8-4
165: Luke Weber (NDSU) dec. Cole Moody (WYO) 10-7
174: No. 10 Hayden Hastings (WYO) Fall Lorenzo De La Riva (NDSU) 3:28
184: Tate Samuelson (WYO) MD Noah Cressell (NDSU) 10-1
197: Stephen Buchanan (WYO) dec. Cordell Eaton (NDSU) 4-3
HWT: No. 20 Brian Andrews (WYO) Fall No. 25 Brandon Metz (NDSU) 0:53
125: Doyle Trout (WYO) forfeit NDSU