CEDAR FALLS — The difference on the mat for most of the night was not much. The difference on the final scoreboard was another story.
With victories in eight of 10 matches, Northern Iowa posted its largest margin of victory ever over Iowa State Saturday, 31-7, in front of a sold-out West Gym in Big 12 Conference wrestling action.
Six matches were decided by three or fewer points, five by two or less, and the Panthers won five of them as UNI posted back-to-back wins over the Cyclones for the first time since 2003-04.
“We were ready to scrap,” said sophomore Jacob Holschlag, who scored a 2-0 victory at 197 over Sam Colbray. “It felt like everybody fed off the guy in front of them. We were ready to beat some dudes up tonight, and I thought we wrestled pretty well.”
UNI had not scored that large of a victory over ISU since a 26-5 win in 1949.
The teams traded bonus-point wins to open the meet. Jay Schwarm gave the Panthers a 6-0 lead with a 51-second pin of Sinjin Briggs, while the Cyclones countered with a 14-0 major decision by Markus Simmons at 133.
Then with Ian Parker not fully ready to go at 141 as he recovers from a minor injury, Iowa State forfeited to Josh Alber at 141, making it 12-4.
Buried in an eight-point deficit after three matches, the Cyclones needed to win some close matches, and they didn’t get it done.
“Good teams expose you and I think we got exposed,” ISU head coach Kevin Dresser said. “I don’t like losing. Our staff does not like losing. Let’s hope seven or eight of our guys dislike losing as much as we do, and if we got that, then we will get better.
“We lost a close match at 149, 157, 184, 197 and lost a close match at heavyweight and we won one close match. So obviously, we are not fighting to the end.”
Iowa State’s only other win came at 165 where Skyler St. John pulled out a 7-4 decision over Dan Kelly.
But, again, it was the close wins that carried UNI.
Max Thomsen scored three takedowns to edge Jarrett Degen, 7-5, at 149, Logan Ryan won a crazy scramble with Independence native Chase Straw with four seconds left to get the winning takedown in a 3-1 win.
Drew Foster edged Dane Pestano by two at 184, Holschlag won by two at 197, and Carter Isley won the rubber match of the season series to date with Waterloo native Marcus Harrington, 4-3, to cap the win.
Taylor Lujan registered seven takedowns in a 17-6 victory at 174 over Danny Bush for the Panthers’ other win.
“Thirty-one to seven is a good thing,” UNI head coach Doug Schwab said. “I still think there are some situations where we can attack even more and score more points. I’m always going to think that.
“I like how we competed today, There was a little bit of grit and edge to them. Overall, a pretty good performance.”
UNI will wrestle its final home dual of the regular season next Saturday at home against Missouri at 2 p.m.
UNI 31, Iowa State 7
125 — Jay Schwarm (UNI) pinned Sinjin Briggs, :51, 133 — Markus Simmons (ISU) major decision Jack Wagner 14-0, 141 — Josh Alber (UNI) won by forfeit, 149 — Max Thomsen (UNI) dec. Jarrett Degen 7-5, 157 — Logan Ryan (UNI) dec. Chase Straw 3-1, 165 — Skyler St. John (ISU) dec. Dan Kelly 7-4, 174 — Taylor Lujan (UNI) dec. Dan Bush, 17-6, 184 — Drew Foster (UNI) dec. Dane Pestano 6-4, 197 — Jacob Holschlag (UNI) dec. Sam Colbray 2-0, 285 — Carter Isley (UNI) dec. Marcus Harrington 4-3.
Official — Mike Hagerty.