NORMAN — Into the season of just about any team in any sport comes some adversity at some point. Consider a little adversity as having arrived for the 4th-ranked Oklahoma wrestling team, which fell 19-17 to No. 9 Northern Iowa Sunday at McCasland Field House.
It’s the first blemish in what has been a perfect season for OU as a team. The Sooners had won each of their first two tournaments as well as seven duals.
But the visiting Panthers found the momentum with several early victories and never looked back.
“Sometimes it takes courage to go out and attack how we ask you to, and I didn’t see it today,” said Sooner Head Coach Mark Cody.”I think they got some bonus points where we didn’t expect them to get them. I was really surprised even with the closer matches that we had.”
UNI was far from an outfit of slouches. The Panthers brought five individually ranked wrestlers to Norman, including Joe Colon, No. 1 at 133.
In fact, it was against Colon that OU’s Cody Brewer had, even in defeat, one of the shining points on the day for the Sooners.
Brewer was in
trouble after two first-period takedowns and a near-fall had him in a 6-1 hole, but battled back for the only two remaining takedowns in the match and threatened a couple of times to turn Colon to his back before eventually falling 7-5. It’s just his third loss this year against 14 wins.
Sooner Justin DeAngelis, ranked for the first time this year at No. 19 at 157 pounds, also had a big moment with an astonishing six takedowns in the final 70 seconds to tie his match with UNI’s Jarrett Jensen at 15-15. He then scored a quick takedown in overtime to win.
Now 13-3 on the season, DeAngelis just keeps making strides.