Bedlam: Worse Than Kissing Your Sister

NORMAN --There have been many times that the long dominated Bedlam wrestling series has come down to the final match, and in more cases than not Oklahoma State has taken care of business. The Cowboys, who entered Tuesday night's dual leading the series 125-26-9, have even pulled matches out of the fire when they weren't favored. It's not magic, just Cowboy wrestling.

A good example was the in 1981 when walkon David Hille pulled out a double DQ with OU's Steve "Dr. Death" Williams with OSU holding a slim three-point lead.

The scenario was similar Tuesday night as OSU led by three with just the 149-pound match to go and OU title contender and fifth-ranked Kyle Terry going against unranked Quinten Fuentes filling in for the injured Albert White. It could have been worse as Fuentes fought gamely to lose a 6-3 decision and Oklahoma pulled out a draw in the first chapter of Bedlam.

The final score in the dual was 16-16 and while the OU team celebrated, Oklahoma State head coach John Smith was in no festive mood.

"I'll tell you it was Bedlam, a lot of tough matches," started Smith. "If I had to say anything maybe a little disappointed in there were too many first periods that went zero-zero, but the pace really picked up after that.

"OU wrestled hard, a lot harder than us. They're good and I knew it was going to be a tough match. I think we still have more guys thinking about their weight than being in tough battles and when you are getting ready for this, then you have to think tough battle all week."

Fuentes came in with a 7-2 record and all seven of his wins were by falls. In the first period Terry worked around Fuentes and after a long effort gained control for the first points on a takedown. But in a matter of seconds the aggressive Fuentes had his Sooner opponent reversed and tied the match.

A late escape in the period made it 3-2 in Terry's favor. Fuentes tied the match again in the second period with an early escape, but an escape and late takedown in the third gave Terry a hard fought 6-3 decision and clinched the tie for Oklahoma.

"That was nice getting thrown in just a couple of days ago," said Smith of Fuentes effort. "It was a good fight and he stayed in the fight, but you have give the OU kid credit. He picked up the takedown in the third to separate the score and keep the dual meet tied. Those are the things I like to see. I'd like to see my guys do it."

By random draw the match started at 157 pounds with Oklahoma State captain and eighth-ranked Neil Erisman taking the mat for the Cowboys. Smith has been pushing his wrestlers to make things happen, but the hard working Erisman couldn't get anything going against the 14th-ranked Shane Vernon of Oklahoma.

After a scoreless first period where Vernon took the most significant shot, Erisman started the second period on top. Vernon took the lead with a quick escape. In the third period Erisman did the same and the two battled to the wire. Erisman took several shots and had opportunities against the defense-minded Vernon, but with six seconds left Vernon got control and earned the takedown for a 3-1 win in the opening weight.

At 165 pounds, 14th-ranked Alex Meade leveled the score with a 5-1 decision. Meade took down OU freshman Tyler Caldewell in the first period with a tackle. After Caldewell gained an escape early in the second period the score was 2-1 in Meade's favor. The third period started with a spectacular flip by Meade to avoid allowing Caldwell any chance for points as the OU wrestler was working on top. It was after that flip that Meade turned it on with an escape and then a double leg takedown to finish out the period and even the team score at 3-3.

It was Oklahoma that registered the first bonus points of the night as sixth-ranked Jeff James completely dominated the Cowboys unranked Chris McNeil. James collected two takedowns in the first period, two more in the second period, and another pair of two-pointers in the third period. Add in the riding time and an escape and James had a major decision at 14-5. Oklahoma had a 7-3 lead to the delight of the crimson fans in what was almost a split even crowd in the old fieldhouse.

Turnabout is fair play and the dual kept its rhythm as 10th-ranked Clayton Foster dominated the Sooners redshirt freshman Erich Schmidtke in a 17-5 major decision. Foster came out and took control in the first period with four takedowns starting with a work around two-pointer on the mat. He followed that a pair of double leg takedowns and then finished in the final seconds of the period with a single leg for an 8-3 advantage.

In the second period after an escape, Foster turned Schmidtke and scored a three-point near fall. In the end the riding time was almost three minutes and the major for the unbeaten Foster, who ran his record to 9-0, and made it 7-7 with the team score.

In what many expected to be the premier and most competitive match of the night the Cowboys Russian native Alan Gelogaev, ranked sixth in the country, took on Oklahoma's eighth-ranked Eric Lapotsky from a pretty fair wrestling area in Pennsylvania.

Lapotsky showed Gelogaev he still has some lessons to learn about collegiate style wrestling as he used a two-point near fall in a wild first period to lead 5-2. Gelogaev was working for a takedown late in the period but could not get his right leg free and in continuing the effort gave Lapotsky an avenue and he took it nearly putting Gelogaev on his back but only one shoulder point touched.

Lapotsky rode Gelogaev out the second period even though he gave up a penalty point for stalling. Gelogaev scored a takedown in the third period but was quickly reversed and Oklahoma had the lead again off Lapotsky's impressive 10-4 decision.

It was certainly not the prettiest action of the evening but it was truly survival of the fittest as Oklahoma State third-ranked heavyweight Jared Rosholt survived an 11-minute marathon that stretched all the overtime and sudden victory periods you could stage to be decided on a slim riding time advantage of 19 seconds following the final tie breaker period in overtime.

To recap the action of the big men, Rosholt and OU heavyweight Nathan Fernandez, the 11th-ranked Fernandez tied the score with an escape in the third period and with nobody getting any other points it was on to the four minutes of sudden victory and tie breakers. Rosholt took a couple of shots but never could finish thanks to the talents of Fernandez.

n the end, Rosholt started the final 30-second tiebreaker with an 11-second deficit in riding time. Rosholt rode out Fernandez for the full 30 seconds to go up 19 secpmds and gain the decision and push the score back to a 10-10 tie.

"I didn't see a lot of action from Rosholt," said Smith disappointed that he didn't get it done earlier. "I don't know if you ask a fifth-year senior to survive. I don't think we're to that point yet. I think you ask a fifth-year senior to win the match for you which he did. He did but I think you get to a point with fifth-year seniors where they are wrestling for bonus points."

The Sooners retook the lead in the next match as OU head coach Jack Spates broke the redshirt on former four-time Oklahoma high school state champ Jarrod Patterson of Cushing.

Patterson, who grew up down the road from the OSU campus, showed the Cowboys he's pretty good as he used a late takedown just on the fringe of the mat with seven seconds left to take a 4-2 lead. The eighth-ranked Chris Notte got his escape and then in a desperation move was caught for another takedown at the buzzer to lose a 6-3 decision and give Oklahoma a 13-10 lead.

"That kid (Patterson) is tough and he hit two good single legs to finish the shots," said Smith. "That is not an easy match."

Jordan Oliver had a chance at 133 pounds to put the Cowboys in front as the 11th-ranked and unbeaten Oliver was a heavy favorite against unranked and 4-5 Alex Ekstrom. Oliver flirted with some big points but never could get it done against the cautious Ekstrom. Oliver did keep his record unbeaten with an 8-2 decision but the team score remained tied at 13-13. Smith was upset as he really wanted to see an extra bonus point out of Oliver at 133.

The Cowboys gained their first lead of the night when 16th-ranked Jamal Parks used a pair of first period takedowns including a single leg before the end of the first period to jump out to a 4-2 lead at 141 pounds. Parks wound up with a 5-3 decision over Zack Bailey.

"That was a big match, a big win by Jamal and for him to step out and get the win that was important," said Smith.

The Cowboys led 16-13 setting up the final match of the night with the highly ranked Kyle Terry and the Cowboys replacement Quinten Fuentes. It was a noble effort but not a win and that leaves the Cowboys with work to do.

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