Eastern Michigan University’s wrestling team found itself on the wrong side of their dual meet against the No. 2 ranked Missouri Tigers on Sunday, losing by a score of 31-7 and dropping their seventh meet in a row.
Missouri, which is still undefeated this year and is coming off a 43-6 win over Buffalo Friday night, began the meet by carrying some of that previous momentum with them.
In the 125 lb. match between Eagle Blake Caudill and Tiger Nicholas Brennan, Brennan pulled away early in the second period to go up 3-7. An arm injury to Caudill slowed him down for a few seconds, but he showed resilience by getting back onto the mat and finishing up what he started. Brennan continued to pull away however, and finished up the match by gaining the 3-9 decision, giving Missouri an early 3-0 lead.
The Eagles found themselves getting into a hole after consecutive losses in the 133 lb. and 141 lb. matchups. What was once a 3-0 lead for Missouri quickly turned into a 9-0 lead.
Early on into the 149 lb. match between Eastern’s Nick Barber and Missouri’s Drake Houdashelt, things were still relatively close as Houdashelt held a 5-0 advantage over Barber. Out of nowhere with 20 seconds left to go in the period, Houdashelt found a way to pin Barber and ended the match giving Missouri a 15-0 lead over Eastern.
Brandon Zeerip did not disappoint with just 13 seconds into the 157 lb. match. Zeerip picked up a quick two points over Missouri’s Trevor Wiest and he would never look back. Zeerip would go on to take the match by a 3-1 decision and give Eastern their first points of the day making the score 15-3.
For a moment there was a glimmer of hope for Eastern, but two wins in the 165 lb. and 174 lb. weight classes by Missouri quickly shut the door on those chances. The score at that point was 24-3 in Missouri’s favor. EMU’s Mike Curby came up big for Eastern to put a dent in Missouri’s momentum by gaining a 12-0 major decision over John Goerke. EMU still trailed by a score of 24-7.
In what proved to be arguably the most intense matchup of the meet, Eastern’s Anthony Abro took on Missouri’s J’Den Cox in the 197 lb. weight class. After a somewhat quiet first period after which Cox lead 2-0, things started to get a little choppy shortly into the second. With 1:10 left in the period, Cox forced Abro off the mat and drove him into the chairs along the sidelines. Then with 11 seconds to go in the third, Abro was hit with an unnecessary roughness call as he got tangled up near the side of the mat. Cox would go on to win the decision 5-1 and give the Tigers a 27-7 lead for the meet.
Up last but not least for the Eagles was Gage Hutchison who went up against Devin Mellon in the heavyweight match to end the afternoon. Hutchison was down 7-1 at the end of the first period and could not find a way to claw his way back. The match ended in a 14-4 major decision going in Mellon’s favor, giving Missouri the 31-7 win.
With the win for Missouri, the Tigers remain undefeated at 20-0 and have now been crowned MAC Champions for the 2014-2015 regular season. The title is Missouri’s first since moving from the Big 12 to the MAC in the 2013-2014 season.
The Eagles will have a few days off to collect themselves before their next test when they face off against Old Dominion. That meet will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13 at the EMU Convocation Center.
125: Nicholas ‘Chase’ Brennan (Missouri) over Blake Caudill (EMU) (Dec. 9-3)
133: Zach Synon (Missouri) over Vincent Pizzuto (EMU) (Dec. 2-1)
141: Lavion Mayes (Missouri) over Michael Shaw (EMU) (Dec. 9-4)
149: Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) over Nick Barber (Eastern Michigan) (Fall 4:34)
157: Brandon Zeerip (EMU) over Trevor Wiest (Missouri) (Dec. 4-1)
165: Tyler Prazma (Missouri) over Austin Geerlings (EMU) (Dec. 8-3)
174: John Eblen (Missouri) over Kayne MacCallum (EMU) (Fall 0:51)
184: Michael Curby (EMU) over John Goerke (Missouri) (MD 12-0)
197: J`Den Cox (Missouri) over Anthony Abro (EMU) (Dec. 5-1)
HWT: Devin Mellon (Missouri) over Gage Hutchison (EMU) (MD 14-4)