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Iowa Wrestling Body Slams Nebraska, 20-13

Hush little Husker, don’t say a word.

Cam Kramer/ Special to the Register

I won’t say it was pretty, because a majority of the dual wasn’t. I won’t say it was fun, unless biting your nails for two solid hours is your thing. But I will say that an Iowa win, especially over Nebraska, is one of the sweetest things life has to offer.

So far this has been a great year in terms of putting the candycorn Huskers in their place. We’ve wrecked their dreams in football, both men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, and hell, even our cross-country team placed higher than them at their very own tournament. Like I said, these are the moments in life that we need to cherish. Beating Nebraska is one of the things that makes life, well, livable.

But they didn’t make two hours of my life fun until Austin DeSanto gave the thumbs up to the Iowa bench (and the Nebraska faithful chanting “Let’s Go Hawks!”) and then planted Brian Peska for the tech fall to seal the dual. But before Austin’s wicked seven-minute takedown clinic, things were a bit rough…

We started at 141lbs on the day and immediately dropped the opening match, then proceeded to trade blows with Nebraska. We somehow survived their gauntlet, for the most part intact, and after five matches (no intermission) we found ourselves down 6-10 with our hammers coming up.

Cash Wilcke stopped the hemorrhaging and claimed the biggest win of his career as he knocked out #3 Taylor Venz in the final seconds. Warner followed in his footsteps and gave us our first official lead of the dual, 12-10, which was short lived because Sam Stoll decided to lay an egg.

Then our leadoff hitters came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Spencer Lee and Austin DeSanto recorded a major decision and technical fall, respectively, to score nine straight points and finally put the dual to bed.

Actually, it was eight because DeSanto got dinged for unsportsmanlike conduct that cost us a team point for the 3rd time this season. But this time, who’s counting? I’m not!


141: Chad Red dec. Vince Turk, 4-1 Iowa 0, Neb 3

149: #16 Pat Lugo dec. Jordan Shearer, 8-4 Iowa 3, Neb 3

157: #2 Tyler Berger dec. #7 Kaleb Young, 3-1 SV1 Iowa 3, Neb 6

165: #2 Alex Marinelli dec. #6 Isaiah White, 3-0 Iowa 6, Neb 6

174: #9 Mikey Labriola maj. dec. Keegan Shaw, 14-4 Iowa 6, Neb 10

184: #16 Cash Wilcke dec. #3 Taylor Venz, 5-2 Iowa 9, Neb 10

197: #5 Jacob Warner dec. #11 Eric Schultz, 4-1 Iowa 12, Neb 10

285: #14 David Jensen dec. #5 Sam Stoll, 3-0 Iowa 12, Neb 13

125: #2 Spencer Lee maj. dec. #14 Zeke Moisey, 18-4 Iowa 16, Neb 13

133: #3 Austin DeSanto tech. fall Brian Peska, 25-10 Iowa 20, Neb 13*

*Iowa was deducted a team point following this match

Before I get into my match notes, I want to explore this unsportsmanlike conduct point real quick-like. After Chad Red knocked off our unranked backup, Vince Turk, he proceeded to show his bravado in a post-match celebration. Did I mention that Red didn’t take a single shot the entire seven minutes? Whatever, his house and he just won the opening bout. Let’s move on.

Fast forward two matches and Tyler Berger acts like he just won the NCAA’s by defeating a lower-ranked Kaleb Young in SV1. Which, my biased opinion would like to point out, that Young was working on a TD that would have likely won the match, had it not been prematurely called a stalemate. So Berger wins, starts pointing to the mat while screaming, “My House!” then he decides to blow a kiss at Tom and Terry Brands. ***Austin takes a mental note of this***

Let’s continue to fast forward to 174lbs. Keegan Shaw is severely undersized going against Mikey Labriola. Labs slams him to the ground and (me thinks) knocks the wind out of him. Later on, in the 3rd the Shawman takes a shot attempt and his knee buckles, he falls to the ground screaming in pain. What does the Nebraska fan base do? They boo him… and they boo loudly.

Furthermore, things start to escalate when David Jensen thoroughly kicks Stoll’s ass into next weekend, but while doing so he figure-fours a leg, rides parallel, and stalls for four minutes. Now both teams/ fans our on edge. So what is the best course of action to solve any calamity? Naturally, it’s Austin DeSanto.

And here folks, is the moment that Nebraska fans will unfortunately remember until they stop husking corn. And here folks, is the single greatest moment of the Hawkeye season and perhaps my favorite takedown of all time.

Sorry KY, your epic throw from a few weeks ago has been surpassed.

Match Notes:

141: Why didn’t #19 Max Murin wrestle? I’m waiting for the “ducking” rumors to circulate, but I truly don’t know. Either way, Vince Turk didn’t get the job done. In fact, he was dominated by a guy that refused to take a shot which makes it all the more frustrating. Turk couldn’t escape from bottom and he only took shots at Red’s far right leg. Never once changing elevation of attacking from angles. Red is very, very beatable and Turk wrestled very, very poorly. He’s better than what he showed on Sunday.

149: Lugo took care of business and that’s about all I can say. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t as dominant as I would’ve liked, but it was solid. He’s getting better as the season wears on and after #2 Anthony Ashnault just majored #1 Matt Kolodzik, it proves to me that Lugo is right there with these guys. He just needs to needs to trust in his offense and finish his TD’s quicker. If he can start to chain-wrestle and stop getting hung up underneath after a TD attempt, he’s going to be a very dangerous opponent come March.

157: Young is right there in the 2nd tier group behind #1 Jason Nolf. Berger is beatable and KY had him dead to rights before a very dumb stalemate was called. The downside to being “right there” with these guys, is that he’s not fully there. KY still refuses to get on his horse and attack. If he finally gets over this mental hump the sky is the limit, but unfortunately, he didn’t take a single shot after the 1st period. His defense is elite though and his scrambling is going to keep matches close. Now he needs the rest to develop.

165: For perhaps the first time all season The Bull didn’t get a takedown, but he didn’t need one. The 3-0 score doesn’t reflect how dominating it truly was. Isaiah White is the real deal and Marinelli handled him well in all three phases. It certainly wasn’t a pretty win, but he’s finding new ways to win a match, and that’s an element he didn’t have last year.

174: Keegan Shaw was given a tall and nigh-impossible task to upend #9 Mikey Labriola. Since I already dove into this a bit, I’ll keep it short. Shaw is much smaller and it showed. Labriola is an All-American contender and it showed. But I give all the credit to Keegan for hanging tough and finishing the match, he truly is a tough S.O.B. A part of me wonders if he knew his season was over and he didn’t want it to end with him being helped off the mat, so he gutted it out. I hope I’m wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s done. The curse of 174 continues. Kemerer. Wilson. Bowman. And now Shaw. Get healthy young man.

184: Cash Wilcke earned his money! He finally put it all together and knocked off his first top five opponent in #3 Taylor Venz. Cash attacked earlier and used his elite quickness to keep Venz at bay. I probably have the series of events mixed up, but with the clock winding down Wilcke escaped to go up 3-2, but Venz still had 1:00RT. Then this happened (mind you the score is wrong)

197: Warner came in and looked pretty good. There was literally no action in the 1st, but he gave us a glimpse as to why he’s being called one of the best when he rode Schultz for the entire 2nd period. Schultz was doing everything he could to buck Warner, but he stayed in control. Warner officially got on the board with a quick escape early in the 3rd, then this happened:

This gave him a 3-0 lead and locked up the riding time point. Warner still needs to get to his offense early, but he’s starting to wrestle at that elite level we’ve been craving for.

285: Sam Stoll got dominated. Those are four words I never thought I’d say… Stoll looked superior in neutral, but made a poor decision in going down to start the 2nd. He was ridden for those two awful minutes. Then Jensen made the correct decision and chose top. Once again, Stoll was ridden for two more awful minutes. I won’t get into the whole “leg riding/figure-four/stalling” debate again because it doesn’t matter. The refs won’t call it and now everyone knows Stoll can’t defend it. He needs to learn quickly otherwise he’s in serious trouble.

125: Spencer Lee looked much better this time around, but he still faded hard to close out the 3rd. He stated previously that he needs to learn to continue to wrestle at times and he rebounded nicely after an early TD by Moisey. More to the point, Moisey bull-rushed him and knocked him over, instead of it being a clean single/double leg, etc.

After that, Lee turned on the jets and started to rack up the points. I counted at least THREE times that he had Moisey pinned, but the ref was late getting into position to call it. Neither of the two refs saw three separate pins. I’m sure Nebraska was grateful. I’d be grateful too if the roles were reversed, but this can’t happen at the collegiate level. Here was one missed call:

Regardless, Lee looks to be on the mend, though several people have commented on him limping post-match. Here’s to hoping it was from exhaustion instead of injury. Thanks to our dedicated followers, this was shared in our comments section and he seems to be fine.

133: Austin has been on an absolute tear since his loss to ISU’s Austin Gomez back in December. He’s knocked off four top 20 guys, including two in the top ten. He’s now ranked #3 and did exactly what someone ranked #3 should do to a unranked opponent. He mauled Brian Peska 25-10 and totaled, by my count, 12 takedowns. I should also note that it appeared that DeSanto never once had the thought to collect any near fall points, he was all about the takedowns. And it sent a clear message to the Nebraska faithful that this isn’t a rivalry quite yet. Thumbs up to that...

Next up, Iowa takes on Maryland in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, February 8, at 7PM CT.