By Jason Elmquist
Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
John Smith has stressed the need for bonus-point wins since the early parts of the Oklahoma State wrestling season.
Against No. 10-ranked Missouri, which beat the sixth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Thursday, the ninth-ranked Cowboys earned four bonus points to roll to a 28-6 victory — OSU’s first win over a top 10 opponent this season.
“You’ve just got to work that much harder and recognize that it’s within us to do things like this,” Smith said. “We’ve got to continue to execute in practice and understand it’s a mental game from this point forward.”
Sophomore Eddie Klimara started off the dual with one of those bonus-point victories for Oklahoma State at 125 pounds. Klimara, ranked No. 20 nationally, picked up a 9-1 major decision over Barlow McGhee to set the tone for the night.
The Pokes picked up a pair of convincing victories in the 133- and 141-pound bouts. Fifth-ranked Jon Morrison won a 6-1 decision over redshirt freshman Matt Manley, who was a three-time state champion for the Perry Maroons. Anthony Collica, ranked 18th at 141, followed with a 6-3 win over Lavion Mayes.
The Tigers earned their first win of the dual at 149 pounds with top-ranked Drake Houdashelt escaping No. 9-ranked Josh Kindig in a 4-0 decision.
Tyler Caldwell came up with the big match of the dual with a 15-2 major decision — two points shy of a technical fall — against Jordan Gagliano, who wrestled in place of No. 13 Zach Toal who had lost eight career matches to Caldwell.
Caldwell, ranked No. 5 at 165 pounds, got eight back points on Gagliano and nearly scored a last-second takedown to clinch the technical fall.
“I just want to put up as many points as I can in a match,” Caldwell said. “Unfortunately it doesn’t happen that way every time, sometimes you have a tight match and just have to punch through and get the win however you can.
“But sometimes you can break through early and get those turns like I did tonight in the first period and really kind of opened up the match to be able to clinch the bonus-point opportunity.”
Cowboy senior Chris Perry followed with yet another major decision for Oklahoma State, scoring an 11-3 victory over Mikey England — Perry’s only blemish in the match giving up a reversal.
Missouri elected to go with Cody Johnston at 184 pounds instead of 15th-ranked wrestler Johnny Eblen. The Cowboys countered with Jordan Rogers, who earned Oklahoma State another bonus-point win with a 13-3 major decision.
“With Rogers, he had a big first period and the second period slowed down and the third period was a sleeper for all of us,” Smith said. “I felt like I was holding on. But he’s been injured a few times so it wasn’t just from a lack of intensity. He still needs to work on his conditioning, but it was a good win and a good time for him to step out for us.”
Nolan Boyd, who is ranked 19th at 184 pounds, wrestled up against freshman J’den Cox, who is ranked fifth nationally at 197 pounds. The lighter, lanky Boyd wasn’t able to hold off an early surge by Cox and lost a 9-3 decision.
Heavyweight Austin Marsden closed out the dual with a win for Oklahoma State, scoring a pair of takedowns in a 6-2 decision over Devin Mellon.