Twelfth-ranked Will Rowe stopped the bleeding for No. 21 Oklahoma
suddenly and decisively by pinning NC St
ate’s Darrion Cal
dwell at 149 pounds and sparking the Sooners to a 30-9 victory over the Wolfpack in college wrestling Thursday night in Norman, Okla.
The match was the first dual match of the season for both teams.
NC State won the first three matches of the evening, including a 5-0 decision by Joe Caramanica over No. 16 Zach Bailey at 141 pounds, to take a 9-0 lead and stun the partisan crowd at Howard McCasland Fieldhouse. The Wolfpack appeared to be on its way to a rout of the Sooners when Caldwell jumped to a 6-1 lead over Rowe at 149. Rowe got a late takedown, however, then took advantage of a mental lapse by Caldwell to cut the NC State lead to a more manageable 9-6.
“You could have heard a pin drop in that place after Caramanica beat Bailey and Caldwell went up 6-1,” Wolfpack coach Carter Jordan said. “We had them. But Rowe took Darrion down from behind and Darrion tried a move that he shouldn’t have and got pinned. You have to finish against a guy like that. You have to keep grinding. That’s the lesson Darrion and the rest of these guys have to learn from this. Better that they learn it now and not in March.”
The Sooners would not look back, with Chad Terry scoring a 9-2 decision over Ray Ward in the 157-pound match to tie the team score at nine. Max Dean won in dominant fashion over Jalil Dozier in a 15-3 major decision at 165 pounds. Jeff James extended the OU lead to 16-9 by edging Randy Goodman 3-2 at 174 pounds. Joshua Weitzel scored a win at 184 pounds by forfeit.
Joel Flaggert scored the only technical fall of the night in a 24-8 win over Mark Jahad at 197 pounds, followed by the final victory by Nathan Fernandez, scoring a 11-6 decision over Bobby Isola in the heavyweight division.
Aside from a 22-18 win at Indiana last season, NC State has not fared well against teams from the Big Ten and Big Twelve, especially on the road. Thursday night began with such promise. In the end, however, the quick start did not overshadow the final result, which was a loss to a ranked team.
“It’s not very often that a team goes into Oklahoma, wins the first three bouts and has a 6-1 lead in the fourth,” Jordan said. “It wasn’t enough. I told the team that I’m tired of moral victories, that I’m tired of hearing that if this had happened or if that had happened. This and that didn’t happen. We have to learn to win those matches.”
NC State returns to action on Saturday in Chapel Hill in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The Pack will wrestle Michigan State at noon and Purdue at 2 p.m.
Oklahoma 30, NC State 9
125: Taylor Cummings (NCS) dec. Greg Cannon, 6-4
133: Ryan Tice (NCS) dec. J.R. Roman, 13-10
141: Joe Caramanica (NCS) dec. Zack Bailey, 5-0
149: Will Rowe (NEO) fall Darrion Caldwell, at 4:45
157: Chad Terry (OU) dec. Ray Ward, 9-2
165: Max Dean (OU) maj. dec. Jalil Dozier, 15-3
174: Jeff James (OU) dec. Randy Goodman, 3-2
184: Joshua Weitzel (OU) win by forfeit
197: Joel Flaggert (OU) tech. fall. Mark Jahad, 24-8, at 6:29
Hwt: Nathan Fernandez (OU) dec. Bobby Isola, 11-6