ASC Sports Information
Dominic DeMarco, Luke McPeek and Taylor Stam all recorded first period pins as the nation’s 18th ranked, yet-shorthanded Adams State College Grizzlies pulled away for a decisive 33-15 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference wrestling win over host New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys, Friday night here in the Wilson Complex.
The Grizzlies, who were without two of their three nationally ranked wrestlers, gave up 12 points due to back-to-back forfeits but won seven of the eight wrestled matches while outscoring the Cowboys, 59-15 on the mat. The victory was the Grizzlies’ sixth straight over the Cowboys and allowed them to get back over .500.
They are now 5-4 overall and 3-2 in RMAC action.
The Cowboys, who took a 15-12 lead with a 3-2 Travis Saxon win at 165 pounds, then watched the Grizzlies rattle off 21 straight points, while falling to 0-6 overall and to 0-5 in RMAC duals.
Grizzly true freshman Mark Mabry, Jr. started the stretch with a key 5-4 win at 174 pounds to tie the score before the Grizzlies’ three successive pins put the match away. McPeek’s victory was certainly the sweetest as he returned to his old stomping grounds to pin Justin Wilmes at the 2:40 mark of 197-pound match. McPeek, who was a 2009 NCAA Division II All-American at New Mexico Highlands before transferring to Adams State to pursue a graduate degree, is now 17-5 overall and 7-1 in duals. He is ranked fourth in the national rankings at the weight class this year and now leads the Grizzlies with six falls, five of which have come in dual meet action.
McPeek was leading Wilmes, 8-0 at the time of his fall.
The Grizzlies then put an exclamation point on the victory as Stam recorded his first fall of the season, just 1:42 into his match with RK Rockhill. Stam, who was leading 2-0 at the time, is now 12-11 overall. Earlier, DeMarco also recorded his first fall in five dual-meet matches taking out Andrew Roden at 2:54 of the 184-pound match. DeMarco is now 5-5 overall.
The Grizzlies had jumped out to an early 7-0 lead to start the night as Jerry Huff claimed a decisive 10-2 major decision at 125 pounds over the Cowboys’ Josh Christopher. Corey Johnson then bested Donovan Troup by a 12-5 score at 133 pounds. Huff is now 6-8 on the year while Johnson evened his record at 11-11. The Cowboys then received their forfeit wins at 141 and 149 pounds as Grizzly juniors Kenny Jordan and Josh Hensley were out of the lineup due to sickness and injury, respectively. Jordan, who is riding an 8-match winning streak, is ranked seventh in the nation at 141 pounds and sports an impressive 15-2 record. Hensley, out for the fifth straight dual due to a knee injury, is ranked sixth in his weight class.
Down 12-7 after the forfeits, the Grizzlies then quickly evened things up as redshirt freshman Justin Samora dominated Mark Martinez for an 18-1 technical fall win at 157 pounds. Samora, who is now 11-9 overall and 6-3 in dual meets, needed just 3:43 to claim the victory. Saxon then put the Cowboys back up 15-12 with his tight 3-2 decision over Grizzly redshirt freshman Darian Roberts.
However, Mabry’s answer and the 18 big points at the end were more than enough for the Grizzlies, who started a 4-dual road stretch with the victory.
The Grizzlies will head east next week facing No. 19 Fort Hays State and No. 11 Nebraska-Kearney next Thursday and Friday, respectively.