North Dakota State 32, Air Force 10

Bison Pin Air Force for Fifth Straight Win

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The No. 13/16 North Dakota State wrestling program picked up a dominating victory over RV Air Force Friday night, defeating the Falcons 32-10 in Big 12 action on Air Force’s senior night at Clune Arena.

NDSU scored three pins and also had two major decisions to pick up a convincing win and the fifth straight dual victory for the Bison, including four straight in Big 12 duals.

Starting off the dual strong for the Bison at 149 pounds, #16 Kellyn March scored an immediate takedown of Dylan Martinez and then added a four-count for back points, but March wouldn’t release the hold and eventually worked his position to secure his third fall of the year at 1:08 for an early 6-0 lead for the Bison. It is March’s ninth win in his last ten matches and the ninth pin of his career.

NDSU continued their strong start as #2 Jared Franek scored a major decision win over Jack Ganos at 157 pounds. Franek scored multiple takedowns in the second and third and added a two-point nearfall to build up a 14-4 win. Franek extends his win streak to 16 matches overall and ten straight in duals.

In the next match, #11 Michael Caliendo picked up three more points for the Bison as he secured a 9-3 victory over Seamus Casey. Caliendo had a pair of takedowns in the first and added another in the third to aid in his victory. Caliendo improves to 17-2 on the season.

Gaven Sax would pick up the third bonus-point win of the match for the Bison at 174 pounds, shutting out Gage Musser. After a scoreless first, Sax rode out Musser for the entire second period, adding a four-point near fall to take the lead. Following an escape in the third, Sax recorded a takedown and a riding time point for an 8-0 major decision. It is Sax’s fourth straight win, all by bonus point decisions with three majors and a pin.

The Bison extended their lead to 20-0 in the 184-pound match as #28 DJ Parker secured a 5-1 win over Noah Blake. Parker ended the first and second periods on top with late takedowns to help lead to his victory. After a 3-7 start to the season, Parker has now won nine out of his last 10, including five straight.

In the 197-pound match, #12 Owen Pentz would grab pin two of the evening for the Bison as he defeated Calvin Sund. Pentz nearly had a pin in the first, as he secured a takedown and four back points before the end of the period. Pentz then turned a reversal and secured the fall at 3:28 to pick up the win and his seventh pin of the season.

Pentz has now recorded pins in three straight matches and four out of his last five overall.

Air Force would then pick up their first wins of the dual as #7 Wyatt Hendrickson defeated #33 Juan Mora with a 13-2 major decision in the heavyweight match. Tucker Owens then defeated Carlos Negrete Jr. 7-1 in Negrete’s first dual action in 2023. #22 Cody Phippen would add a 6-1 win over McGwire Midkiff at 133 pounds.

However, Walker Bents would end the night for the Bison on a high note. Making his dual debut for NDSU. The true freshman scored a first-period reversal straight into a pin to defeat Garrett Kuchan and give the Bison their third fall of the night.

It’s the first time this season that the Bison have recorded three pins in a dual. The Bison had two pins against Buffalo, Little Rock, California Baptist and most recently against Utah Valley for the previous season high.

The Bison improve their win streak to 12 consecutive duals over Air Force, including an 8-0 mark in the Big 12 era. NDSU has scored at least 30 points in four straight duals and for the sixth dual overall this season.

North Dakota State will be back in action Saturday night, as the Bison head to Greeley, Colorado to take on RV Northern Colorado. The dual is scheduled for a 7 p.m. CT start inside Bank of Colorado Arena.

Friday, Feb. 3, 2023 | Clune Arena | Colorado Springs, Colo.

#16 North Dakota State 32, Air Force 10
149: #16 Kellyn March (NDSU) over Dylan Martinez (AF) (Fall 1:08); NDSU 6-0
157: #2 Jared Franek (NDSU) over Jack Ganos (AF) (MD 14-4); NDSU 10-0
165: #11 Michael Caliendo (NDSU) over Seamus Casey (AF) (Dec 9-3); NDSU 13-0
174: Gaven Sax (NDSU) over Gage Musser (AF) (MD 8-0); NDSU 17-0
184: #28 DJ Parker (NDSU) over Noah Blake (AF) (Dec 5-1); NDSU 20-0
197: #12 Owen Pentz (NDSU) over Calvin Sund (AF) (Fall 3:28); NDSU 26-0
285: #7 Wyatt Hendrickson (AF) over #33 Juan Mora (NDSU) (MD 13-2); NDSU 26-4
125: Tucker Owens (AF) over Carlos Negrete Jr. (NDSU) (Dec 7-1); NDSU 26-7
133: #22 Cody Phippen (AF) over McGwire Midkiff (NDSU) (Dec 6-1); NDSU 26-10
141: Walker Bents over Garrett Kuchan (AF) (Fall 1:26); NDSU 32-10

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