DEKALB – The Northern Illinois wrestling team ended their November homestand Saturday by taking two of three duals at the NIU Duals.
The Huskies defeated Calumet College of St. Joseph, 57-0, and Loras, 41-0. Yet, they could not knock off No. 23 Purdue in the finale, falling 37-0 to the Boilermakers.
Round One: Huskies Crush Crimson Wave, 57-0
The Huskies began their day with an easy win over Calumet College of St. Joseph, 57-0. With the Crimson Wave already shorthanded, things got better for the Huskies when only one CCSJ wrestler passed their skin test.
In the lone match, Thorian Twyner handily defeated Anthony Hawkins at 133, 5-0. After a scoreless first period, the redshirt freshman scored a quick escape followed by a takedown 30 seconds later. Twyner would clinch the match in the third with a penalty point against Hawkins and the riding time point.
“That kid is the best wrestler on their team,” said head coach Ryan Ludwig. “Thorian battled a bit of a slow start, got his motor running and ended up winning a solid match. We were happy about that.”
The 57-point victory was the most points scored by NIU since Feb. 12, 2011, when they Huskies defeated the Knox Prairie Fire, 57-0, in Edwardsville, Ill.
Round Two: NIU Shut Out Loras, 41-0
The Huskies earned their fifth win of the season with a 41-0 shellacking of the Loras Duhawks.
“We lived up to what we expected in that match,” Ludwig said. “I have a ton of respect for Loras and that conference, wrestling with very tough and scrappy kids. We talked about going out there and getting right after our attacks and our shots and that’s what we did. We were pleased.”
Much like last weekend at the Huskie Duals, Derek Elmore got NIU a big pin to start things, felling Stephen Kettner just over a minute into the match to give the Huskies a 6-0 lead. The pin was Elmore’s seventh of the season.
Thorian Twyner and Tyler Argue each got decisions to put Northern up 12-0. Twyner defeated Nick Steger by a narrow 4-3 margin, while Argue earned an 8-6 decision against Evan Weaver.
However, the Huskies did not take complete control of the match until Rob Jillard and Andrew Morse notched back-to-back technical falls. After leading 9-1 through two periods, Jillard exploded for seven points in the third to get a 16-1 tech over Dave Skrzypiec. Meanwhile, Morse completely outdueled Chris Lewis at 157 for a 15-0 win.
With the final result all but decided, Dan Burk and Matt Mougin both scored hard-fought decisions to clinch the win for the Huskies. Despite giving up an early takedown, Burk fought back for an 8-4 decision at 165 pounds. Additionally, Mougin scored a 13-8 win at 174, putting NIU up, 28-0.
Bryan Loughlin would get a win by forfeit at 184 for another six Huskie points and Shawn Scott earned a 10-1 major decision over Malcolm Watson.
The match, though, did not end without some drama. At heavyweight, Jared Torrence and James Buss battled to a 1-1 tie in regulation. After both exchanged escape points in the first overtime, Torrence took control of the match by holding Buss down for the first part of the second overtime. The Huskie heavyweight then clinched the win with an escape and takedown for a 5-2 win.
Round Three: Northern Illinois Falls to No. 23 Purdue, 37-0
Northern Illinois closed out the day with a 37-0 defeat at the hands of the 23rd-ranked Purdue Boilermakers. Despite getting bonus points in only three matches, the Boilermakers still swept the Huskies, marking the first shut out of NIU in two years.
“Purdue came out with a lot of hustle and put us on our heels in most cases,” Ludwig said. “We need to work on that. Our guys are not pleased and will be working hard to make adjustments as we take back to our training.”
The Huskies got off to a good start on the mat when Derek Elmore faced #18 Camden Eppert at 125. Elmore drew first blood in the match with a first period takedown of the nationally-ranked Eppert. However, a reversal to close out the first and another takedown in the second sent the Huskie sophomore to a 4-2 loss.
From there, things did not improve. Thorian Twyner dropped the 133 match to Danny Sabatello, 10-5. At 141, Brandon Nelson pinned Ethan Davis in 24 seconds. However, after the mat was slapped, Davis still laid on the ground from injury before being carried off by trainers.
Ivan Lopouchanski – the 14th-ranked wrestler at 149 pounds – and Rob Jillard dueled in a tightly-contested match as NIU looked to stem the Boilermaker tide. Yet, Lopouchanski defeated Jillard by a 7-3 decision.
Andrew Morse also put up a valiant effort at 157. Despite falling behind early, Morse battled back before falling 17-11.
After Dan Burk lost by a 20-7 major decision, Matt Mougin faced a similar fate at 174 as Morse did two matches prior. Despite falling behind in the first period, Mougin got within two in the third period. However, he was unable to get the equalizer and lost 8-5 to Chad Welch.
Bryan Loughlin lost via pin at 5:36 to Patrick Kissel in the 184 match. Shawn Scott battled hard with #18 Braden Atwood at 197, but lost 11-4.
In the heavyweight match, Jared Torrence could not avoid the NIU shutout and lost in a 2-1 overtime decision to Alex White.