Experienced Eagles dominate Davidson
AU Wrestling racks up three falls, rolling to a 41-10 victory.
Facing a young Davidson squad, the AU wrestling team showcased its maturity with a 41-10 victory in Bender Arena this afternoon.
Despite the absence of 125-pound anchor David Terao, who sat out due to a knee injury, fellow seniors John Boyle, Mitch Wightman and Tyler Scotton led by example and earned personal victories. The Eagles also scored bonus points in every match-up against the Wildcats.
“David usually gets us going, but Tyler Scotton did that for us today,” AU head coach Teague Moore said. “He came out and put a lot of points on the board.”
Scotton scored a second period technical fall at 141 pounds, displaying his quickness with a couple of slick duck-under takedowns to win 18-2.
At 157 pounds, Boyle, ranked 11th nationally, led 5-1 heading into the third period. He maintained relentless forward pressure in the final stanza and secured a last-second takedown, plus back points, to finish with a 14-2 major decision.
“We keep preaching to our guys that they have to take advantage of every opportunity on the mat, and today that shined through,” Moore said.
Rounding out the senior trifecta, Wightman wasted no time in his Bender Arena debut. Working hard from the front headlock position, he rolled his opponent over with a half-nelson, needing only forty-six seconds to secure the fall.
Sophomore 197-pounder Jeric Kasunic cemented his place in the national rankings with a thirty-nine second fall via half-nelson against Davidson sophomore Ryan Devlin. Kasunic, who finished eighth in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational earlier this month, entered today’s dual ranked 19th in the country, and Moore said the desire to earn national rankings inspires his athletes, especially as more wrestlers earn honors throughout the season.
“Right now, we’ve got four guys ranked within the top 20 nationally,” Moore said. “Now other guys in the room are feeding off of that energy and want to be right there with their teammates.”
Last season, the Eagles compiled an 8-12 record. However, the Eagles retained their entire roster and also look to improve upon last year’s performance with the addition of two graduate transfers Scotton and Wightman.
“With Tyler and Mitch coming in, these are guys that have three years of college experience,” Moore said. “They’re here with a purpose, and every day is kind of a last chance opportunity for them, so it’s been really fun to see.”
The experienced Eagles look to build on this early season success and make some noise in March at the conference and national tournaments.
“These guys want to shine under the lights in New York City,” Moore said.
*Note: Tommy Bennett is a former member of the AU wrestling team.