After dropping their home opener to #25 Kent State last week, the Buffalo Bulls (4-5, 0-2 MAC) took on the Central Michigan Chippewas (2-4, 1-0 MAC) in the second dual in their homestand before New Years. Both teams were filled with a lot of youth, and what resulted was a very exciting and close meet, filled with heart-pounding, and edge-of-your-seat wrestling.
Starting things off for the Bulls at 125 pounds was senior Max Soria, taking on freshman Brent Fleetwood of CMU; and as he's done all season, Soria dominated from whistle to whistle, dropping a 10-0 major decision on the freshman giving the Bulls a quick 4-0 lead on the Chippewas.
Freshman Sean Peacock then followed up Soria's dominating performance with a 12-6 decision over Tyler Kesselring at 133 pounds. A dominating 5-0 second period for Peacock put him in good position heading into the third period. Peacock was working tirelessly to get a takedown in the final seconds to give him a major decision and an extra team point for the Bulls, but his decision put the Bulls up 7-0, and improved his season record to 13-7. This is the second impressive match for Peacock, after falling in a hard fought bout to Mack McGuire of Kent State, Peacock came out and wrestled tenaciously from start to finish.
Going into the 141 pound bout with a 7-0 lead, Jason Estevez was looking for the win of his young career, taking on #10 ranked Zach Horan. However, Horan's experience and build proved to be too much for Estevez to overcome; this was apparent when both grapplers were in the neutral position. Estevez has a taller, lanky build, while Horan is shorter and stockier than Estevez, meaning that Estevez would need to get closer to shoot for a takedown, where Horan could use that and counter with his own shot. Horan ultimately won 6-1 cutting the Bulls' lead to 4.
A stalling point awarded in the second period due to a new rule proved to be Justin Cooksey's undoing at 149 pounds. Cody LeCount was working for an escape from the bottom position and Cooksey picked up his leg, and the new rule states that you must either return your opponent to the mat or let him go within 5 seconds of picking up the leg or it is ruled as stalling. Cooksey couldn't complete a takedown late in the 3rd period to regain the advantage and dropped a 5-4 decision, one of several matches that were decided by 2 or fewer points.
In a spirited match at 157 pounds, senior Wally Maziarz dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime to Malcom Martin after a questionable stalling call that could have gone either way. There was a scary moment late in the 3rd period when both wrestlers shot for a takedown and Maziarz's head caught Smith right on the bridge of his nose and split him open.
After the halftime break, down 9-7, Rrok Ndokaj defeated Jordan Atienza in a 5-3 decision to put the Bulls back up 10-9 heading into the final 4 matches.
Muhamid McBryde couldn't complete a late reversal attempt to even the score with Jordan Ellingwood, and CJ Brucki eked out a 7-4 decision to put the Chippewas up 15-10 heading into the final 2 bouts. In perhaps the wildest bout of the meet, Joe Ariola lost a close 9-7 decision to Jackson Lewis. After a wild flurry of backpoints, and reversals, a late reversal by Lewis was the deciding factor in the match when Ariola got his hips out of position while he had Lewis turned on his back. Finally, Adam Robinson earned a 4-0 decision over Iam James at heavyweight to cap off the 21-10 victory for the Chippewas.
Despite the final score, the Bulls came out and wrestled well yet again, with 5 of UB's losses being decided by 3 or fewer points, the Bulls were much closer to the Chippewas than the final score indicates. The Bulls have gotten solid production from several wrestlers, and they will be a threat to win in any MAC dual. Sean Peacock in particular is going to be an exciting wrestler to watch as this season, and his career unfolds, he's shown a veteran savvy and a tenacious attitude on the mat that is impressive for a freshman.
The Bulls will be off until New Years when they head to Chattanooga, Tennessee to take part in the prestigious Southern Scuffle.
125: #12 Max Soria (UB) major dec. Brent Fleetwood (CMU) 10-0
133: Sean Peacock (UB) dec. Tyler Keselring (CMU) 12-6
141: #10 Zach Horan (CMU) dec. Jason Estevez (UB) 6-1
149: Cody LeCount (CMU) dec. Justin Cooksey (UB) 5-4
157: Malcom Martin (CMU) dec, Wally Maziarz (UB) 2-1 (OT)
165: Rrok Ndokaj (UB) dec. Jordan Atienza (CMU) 5-3
174: Jordan Ellingwood (CMU) dec. Muhamid McBryde 4-2
184: CJ Brucki (CMU) dec. Brett Perry (UB) 7-4
197: Jackson Lewis (CMU) dec. Joe Ariola (UB) 9-7
HWT: Adam Robinson (CMU) dec. Ian James (UB) 4-0
Updated Season Records:
|#12 Max Soria (125)||15-1|
|Sean Peacock (133)||13-7|
|Jason Estevez (141)||8-4|
|Justin Cooksey (149)||6-8|
|Wally Maziarz (157)||6-8|
|Rrok Ndokaj (165)||8-5|
|Muhamid McBryde (174)||4-10|
|Brett Perry (184)||6-9|
|Joe Ariola (197)||10-7|
|Ian James (HWT)||1-6|