Preseason came to an end for the Northern Illinois University wrestling team Friday night at the Evans Fieldhouse with the annual Red/Black Dual, where Black defeated Red, 21-15.
With a six-point difference, it came down to extra team points, as five matches were decided by three points or less. Two finishes were the difference that lifted the Black squad to the win with a pin at 133 and a technical fall at 197.
“I’m excited by the competition we saw tonight,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “That’s exactly what we’re looking for. We’re looking for guys who come in and believe in themselves that they can compete for a starting spot. We don’t want anyone taking a backseat to anyone on this team.”
“I learned that we have some nice youth in the program pushing some of the older guys. I liked the level of fight and intensity and that’s what we’re looking for because that’s where you start if you want to start winning wrestling matches. We can fix technical things, but fire is something you have to have inside of you and I think we saw that tonight.”
In the lid-lifter between Derek Elmore and Braun Marquez, both wrestlers had hard time creating offense. Following a scoreless three periods, it went into double overtime before Marquez was able to pull off a tilt that gave him the 2-0 win over Elmore and a Black 3-0 lead.
At 133, Nothrup started off with a big takedown of Thorian Twyner. Yet, Twyner reversed Northrup to his back for a five-point move and a 5-2 lead after one. With Twyner on bottom to start the second period, Northrup was able to turn Twyner for a pin at 4:53 and extend the early Black lead to 9-0.
Tyler Argue and Kevin Fanta, two of NIU’s most-experienced lightweights, went head-to-head at 141. Argue earned a big take down that took Fanta to his back for a four-point move taking a 4-1 advantage. A Fanta escape and takedown knotted the match at 4-4, only to have Argue escape before the period ended for a 5-4 edge. Argue worked another escape a 6-4 decision over Fanta for the Red team’s first points of the match.
Rob Jillard came out and looked impressive with an early takedown of true freshman Austin Culton. Culton fought back with a takedown of his own to get within 3-2, but Jillard was too much to handle, as another takedown and riding time gave him a 6-2 win to bring Red within 9-6.
At 157, Andrew Morse earned a solid 12-3 win over freshman Jacob Haydock, extending Black’s lead to 13-6. Despite Haydock’s impressive athleticism, Morse fought off an early takedown attempt that led to a takedown of his own, which set the tone for the rest of the match en route to the only major decision of the night.
Sam Bennett and Trace Engelkes faced off at 165 in the most evenly-contested match of the night. After Bennett struck first with a takedown, Engelkes recovered quickly with and escape and a takedown for a 3-2 lead. Engelkes got another escape in the second, giving him a 4-2 lead. However, Bennett scored a takedown and over a minute of riding time in the final period to give him the 5-4 decision over Engelkes, pushing Red closer, 13-9
Returning NCAA Championships qualifier Matt Mougin won his match at 174 with a 7-4 decision against redshirt freshman Billy Chancey to get Red within 13-12. Yet, Caleb Busson’s 11-6 win against Shane Rosenberry put Black up for good at 16-12.
In the 197 match, Scott was impressive against Parker Settecase, as his takedown and ability of turning Settecase for back points propelled him to an 18-1 tech fall in 6:53 and clinched the win.
At heavyweight, Jared Torrence and Arthur Bunce battled to a 1-1 stalemate through three periods. In the first round of the first overtime, Bunce recorded an escape, but a stalling call against Bunce in the succeeding round made it a 2-2 affair heading into second overtime. That’s when Torrence scored an escape and takedown to clinch a 5-2 decision.
The Huskies open their regular season Nov. 3 when they head to South Dakota State for the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open.
Red/Black Dual Results
125: Braun Marquez (Black) dec. Derek Elmore (Red), 2-0 (OT)
133: Jordan Northrup (Black) pins Thorian Twyner (Red), 4:53
141: Tyler Argue (Red) dec. Kevin Fanta (Black), 6-4
149: Rob Jillard (Red) dec. Austin Culton (Black), 6-2
157: Andrew Morse (Red) maj. dec. Jacob Haydock (Black), 12-3
165: Sam Bennett (Red) dec. Trace Engelkes (Black), 5-4
174: Matt Mougin (Red) dec. Billy Chancey (Black), 7-4
184: Caleb Busson (Black) dec. Shane Rosenberry (Red), 11-6
197: Shawn Scott (Black) tech. fall Parker Settecase (Red), 18-1
285: Jared Torrence (Red) dec. Arthur Bunce (Black), 5-2 (OT)
For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.