After falling behind 16-0 early, the Northern Illinois University wrestling team came up short Friday in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in a 30-6 loss to Northern Iowa.
The Huskies (7-8, 0-2 MAC) claimed wins from Andrew Morse (Alto, Mich./Lowell) and Trace Engelkes (Winnebago, Ill./Winnebago) on the night, but four-straight wins to open the dual and three bonus-point victories pushed the Panthers (5-3, 2-0 MAC) over the top.
“Credit to UNI. They came out strong in the lighter weights,” said NIU head coach Ryan Ludwig. “Andrew (Morse) did a nice job wrestling his match and coming out to take control off the first whistle. (Shaun’Qae McMurtry) wrestled a hard-fought bout and continues to improve. Trace (Engelkes) won a gut-check match and I’m proud of his fight.”
UNI grabbed the early lead at 125 pounds when Derek Elmore (Loves Park, Ill./Harlem) fell behind sixth-ranked Dylan Peters, 7-2, before being pinned early in the third period. The Huskies’ deficit grew in the 133 match when Danny Carlson (Chicago, Ill./Lane Tech) suffered a 5-0 loss to Leighton Gaul.
The hosts continued to pile on when Tyler Argue (Matteson, Ill./Mt. Carmel) was defeated via a 10-6 decision to Jake Hodges at 141. UNI made it a 16-0 lead in the 149 bout when Austin Culton (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) lost a 10-0 major decision to Gunnar Wolfensperger.
Morse got the Huskies on the board at 157 pounds with a 4-0 win over UNI’s Jarrett Jensen. After scoring a takedown in the first period, the junior held Jensen scoreless through the remainder of the match, then added another takedown in the third period for good measure.
NIU nearly came away with an upset victory at 165, where McMurtry (Lockport, Ill./Lockport Twp.) faced 12th-ranked Cooper Moore. McMurtry surrendered a pair of early takedowns to the nationally-ranked Moore, but rallied to within 4-3 through two periods. Yet, Moore scored an escape to open the third and held on for a 5-3 win.
At 174, Engelkes needed to rally from deficits of three and two points to take an 8-6 overtime win against Curt Maas. The Huskie sophomore trailed 4-1 after the first period, but forged a tie in the second thanks to an escape-takedown combo. Maas countered with escapes to end the second and start the third to take a 6-4 lead. However, Engelkes snagged a takedown with just five seconds left in regulation, then repeated the feat in sudden victory for the NIU win.
That’s all the closer NIU got, as UNI won each of the last three matches to seal the victory.
Quinton Rosser (Cincinnati, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller) dropped a 9-6 contest to Cody Caldwell at 184. The Panthers also secured a win at 197, as Shawn Scott (Holly, Mich./Holly) – despite having 59 seconds of riding time – gave up a late escape for a 3-2 loss to Basil Minto. Arthur Bunce (Munith, Mich./Dansville) closed out the contest with a 22-7 tech fall loss to #15 Blaize Cabell.
Northern Iowa 30, NIU 6
125: #6 Dylan Peters (UNI) pins Derek Elmore (NIU), 5:44
133: Leighton Gaul (UNI) dec. Danny Carlson (NIU), 5-0
141: Jake Hodges (UNI) dec. Tyler Argue (NIU), 10-6
149: Gunnar Wolfensperger (UNI) maj. Dec. Austin Culton (NIU), 10-0
157: Andrew Morse (NIU) dec. Jarrett Jensen (UNI), 4-0
165: #12 Cooper Moore (UNI) dec. Shaun’Qae McMurtry (NIU), 5-3
174: Trace Engelkes (NIU) dec. Curt Maas (UNI), 8-6 (SV1)
184: Cody Caldwell (UNI) dec. Quinton Rosser (NIU), 9-6
197: Basil Minto (UNI) dec. Shawn Scott (NIU), 3-2
285: #15 Blaize Cabell (UNI) tech. fall Arthur Bunce (NIU), 22-7
NIU closes out its four-meet road swing next weekend when they take on SIU Edwardsville in Springfield, Illinois, for a neutral-site showdown in the state capital.
For more information on NIU wrestling and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.