Air Force 21, North Dakota State 13

NDSU Falls to Air Force

FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota State wrestling fell to the Air Force Academy 21-13 Sunday afternoon in a Big 12 dual at the Scheels Center.

After winning four straight matches to close the first half of duals, the Bison dropped the final five matches in the dual as Air Force completed a comeback for their first win against North Dakota State since Jan. 28, 2011.

After Air Force picked up a major decision at 125 pounds, Fernando Barreto started a winning run for the Bison with a 6-2 win over Bubba Wright. Barreto had a first-period takedown and then another late to seal the match.

At 141 pounds, #27 Gavin Drexler had a strong victory over Garrett Kuchan with a pair of takedowns and a reversal in a 10-3 victory to give the Bison a 6-4 lead. Max Petersen extended the lead with the most dominant win of the day for the Bison, as he scored a 15-3 major decision over Joe Fernau at 149 pounds. Petersen had four takedowns in the match.

The Bison would take a 13-4 lead into the break as Landen Johnson won his third-straight match with a 2-0 win over Brooks Gable. After a scoreless first, Johnson rode Gable for the entirety of the second period and then got an escape at the start of the third to secure a 2-0 win.

Coming out of the break, Air Force picked up major decisions in two of the next three matches with their ranked wrestlers #17 Giano Petrucelli and #8 Sam Wolf at 165 and 184. At 174 pounds, Mason Gode was unable to convert a couple of shots late and fell in an upset bid, falling 3-2. Air Force would then win at 197 pounds in a 6-3 decision.

In the heavyweight match, #2 Wyatt Hendrickson would pick up a 9-4 decision in the match of the dual. Hendrickson scored a takedown in the first and another in the second before Devon Dawson put Hendrickson to his back in a reversal attempt before a roll out and a 6-1 deficit for Dawson. In the third, Dawson would get Hendrickson to his back briefly and then secure a takedown on Hendrickson. It was just the third match to go the distance against Hendrickson this season and the closest margin of defeat at five points.

North Dakota State will now hit the road for a pair of Big 12 duals next week. On Friday, Feb. 2, it will travel to Orem, Utah, to take on Utah Valley, before heading to Laramie, Wyoming, to face Wyoming on Sunday, Feb. 4.

Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024 | Scheels Center | Fargo, N.D. | Att: 356

Air Force 21, North Dakota State 13
125 | Tucker Owens (AF) over Ryan Henningson (NDSU); MD 11-3
133 | Fernando Barreto (NDSU) over Bubba Wright (AF); Dec 6-2
141 | #27 Gavin Drexler (NDSU) over Garrett Kuchan (AF); Dec 10-3
149 | Max Petersen (NDSU) over Joe Fernau (AF); MD 15-3
157 | Landen Johnson (NDSU) over Brooks Gable (AF); Dec 2-0
165 | #17 Giano Petrucelli (AF) over Brendan Howes (NDSU); MD 14-2
174 | Noah Blake (AF) over Mason Gode (NDSU); Dec 3-2
184 | #8 Sam Wolf (AF) over Adam Cherne (NDSU); MD 12-0
197 | Calvin Sund (AF) over Spencer Mooberry (NDSU); Dec 6-3
285 | #2 Wyatt Hendrickson (AF) over Devon Dawson (NDSU); Dec 9-4

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