At 133 lbs, 14th ranked Brandon Lauer overcame some trouble with his previously injured knee, and an injury time-out which almost cost him his match, to pull out an out-of-nowhere pinfall that brought the crowd of close to 700 to their feet. It looked as if Lauer would be unable to continue after having his knee stretched out, but he limped back to the center of the mat, and within thirty seconds had Tech's Dalton Head on his back, with his shoulder pinned, for a WVU 10-0 lead. Head would have to be carted off after the pin.
The lead would grow as 13th ranked 141 lb., Shane Cunanan scored a 12-7 decision over Tech's Jim Miller. WVU led 13-0 after three matches.
The fourth match at 149 pounds pitted 7th ranked Mountaineer Billy Smith against Tech's Reed Carpenter. A rather uneventful first period eventually gave way to a masterful match by Smith as he methodically built a 14-4 points lead, and in the middle of the third period flipped Carpenter over hard to get another pin for the Mountaineers, and send another Tech wrestler off with a case of the goo, as Carpenter had to be helped from the mat. WVU now led the match 19-0.
This brought the 157 lb. match between WVU's Mike Torriero and Tech's Chris Stith. Stith quickly took command of the match and held a 5-2 lead at the end of the first period. The score was 8-3 when Stith flipped Torriero over and got Tech's first points of the match with a second period pinfall. Stith's showboating after the match seemed a little puzzling as WVU still led the match 19-6 with their best wrestlers still wearing sweats.
The next match, at 165, pitted 7th ranked Tom McMath against Tech's Mike Cox. Cox proved that there is a place for track stars in wrestling as he ran from McMath for three minutes before being called for stalling and a 1-0 WVU lead as the first period horn sounded. Cox continued to run in the second, but McMath got to him for two takedowns in the second period and ended the stanza with a 5-1 lead. McMath wasn't finished as he hit Cox with four takedowns in the third period. Aided by another stalling penalty point, McMath got the 15-4 major decision, and WVU held a commanding 23-6 lead.
I imagine that most wrestling teams don't like to be in arrears 23-6. But I really imagine that they don't want to be down 23-6, and getting ready to face the best 174 lb. wrestler in the nation, WVU's Greg Jones.
The top-ranked Jones took the mat against Tech's Steve Borja. And the 0-0 start was as close as it would get. Even Tech's coach was vocally critical of the elusive Borja, who wanted no more of Jones than Saddam does of the USA. Jones made quick work of Borja, after he caught up with him, and aided by a technical on Borja, earned another major decision for WVU to boost the margin to 27-6.
The next match, at 184, was expected to be the best match of the day, as 17th ranked Mountaineer Ryan Wilman took the mat against Tech's 14th ranked Scott Justus. The match didn't play out that way, however, as Justus got Wilman for four takedowns and a reversal to lead 10-4 before scoring a pin that cut WVU's lead to 27-12. Justus held a 1:34 lead in ride time, and wore down Wilman before scoring the fall.
Not to be outdone, WVU's Adrian Thompson stepped in for WVU at 197 and scored a 12-4 major decision over Tech's Shawn Guttridge. Tech was again penalized for stalling, and Thompson stormed through the third period with three takedowns to extend WVU's lead to 31-12.
That left only WVU's 13th ranked heavyweight Brent Miller to finish out the Moutnaineers' total domination of the fightless gobblers. Tech's Pete Pool was also called for stalling, as he tried to run from Miller. Miller was having none of it, as he drowned Pool in a vat of ten takedowns, and scored a TKO with a 21-6 major decision. WVU won the match 36-12.
The Mountaineers' next match is February 14th at Pitt, and they return to the Coliseum, home of the 2003 EWL Championships March 8-9, on February 15th to face conference rival Edinboro. If you have the chance, take the opportunity to come out and see the wrestlers in action. Be vocal. They need your support.