Mocs Wrestlers Take Step Forward at Boilermaker Duals

The Chattanooga Mocs wrestling program had a good day at the Boilermaker Duals. The group almost had a great day before settling on a 2-1 record against the likes of Northern Illinois, Cleveland State and host Purdue.

The Mocs utilized amazing work from the 174-197 weight classes. The trio of Rocky Jordan, Matthew Waddell and Jake Boyd combined for a 30-0 dual score of the three duals. That amounted to 55.6 percent (30/54) of the dual points for the day.

“We have a lot of experience in those weights,” shared Coach Kyle Ruschell at the work of his heavys. “The expectations are there for them to compete at a high level. They’re carrying us a little with some injuries at the lighter weights. It’s the little things though, Boyd looked good in his first real matches here. Matthew looked as good as he has at Chattanooga, and Rocky Jordan was Rocky Jordan.

“Brayden Palmer put together a great day too,” Ruschell added. “Just ‘steady Eddie’. Guys know how to wrestle him, but he forced his positions and got his hand raised every match. He was impressive as was Jackson Hurst.

“Hurst bumped up a weight class and made everything hard for both of his opponents. He got his hand raised just wearing out his guy in the Cleveland State match and never gave up anything easy against Purdue. He was a great example of who we want to be as a team every time out.”

The Mocs rode a heavy wave to victory. NIU got off to a great start winning decisions at 125, 141, 149 and a pin at 165 to jump out to a 15-6 lead. Brayden Palmer (133) and Lincoln Heck (157) earned the decisions to put their squad in position to sweep its way to a win.

And did they ever? Jordan got it started at 174 with a 7-0 decision followed by and 8-3 mauling by Waddell at 184. Boyd blanked his opponent 6-0 at 197 before Logan Andrew went into the battle of the big boys.

Andrew got an early takedown to take a 2-0 lead into the second. Terrese Aaron answered with an escape in the second to send it to a nervy third period. Andrew and Aaron split with a takedown and escape each with Andrew’s 1:07 of riding providing the 6-4 final decision.

Chattanooga got started almost immediately against the Vikings. The two schools alternated wins at 125 (CSU), 133 (Palmer), 141 (CSU), 149 (Grant Lundy), 157 (CSU) and 165 (Jackson Hurst) before the momentum went back to the Mocs at 174.

Jordan dominated Tate Geiser at 174 for a 16-0 tech fall in the second period after Hurst’s 8-2 triumph. Waddell (2-1) and Boyd (3-2) followed with narrow decisions to clinch the win prior to a Vikings final decision at 285 for the 20-13 final tally.

It was quite a battle with host Purdue. Brayden Palmer got the Mocs on the board at 133 again but losses at 125, 141, 149, 157 and 165 dug a 17-6 hole. The higher weights were not deterred.

Jordan got it started with a dominating 14-0 major followed by another shutout at 184 by Waddell (6-0). Boyd pulled the Mocs within one, 17-16, with a 5-1 decision at 197. Unfortunately, Andrew could not replicate his heroics from the opening match as the Boilermakers escaped with the 23-16 victory.

Most impressively, the Mocs went 2-1 missing starters at 141 (Franco Valdes) and 149 (25th-ranked Noah Castillo). That’s not to take anything away from the efforts of Dayne Dalrymple, Blake Boarman and Grant Lundy who all contributed to the fight, but it shines a light on the impressive team effort considering the loss of that veteran presence to open matches.