The No. 9 NC State wrestling squad battled by Old Dominion 22-11 in its dual meet on Friday night in Reynolds Coliseum to start the 2019-20 season on a good note.
NC State (1-0) went back and forth with Old Dominion (0-1) and took the lead for good thanks to a fall by sophomore Tyrie Houghton for six team points. Then, redshirt junior Kellen Devlin collected a late third-period, four-point near fall to turn his bout around and give NC State a 19-12 team lead.
“This is a great atmosphere for college wrestling,” said head coach Pat Popolizio. “And I’m just thankful that people showed up with this decent crowd for a nonconference dual. That’s a good way to start this season.”
149: Redshirt sophomore A.J. Leitten vs. Kenan Carter
After feeling his opponent out, Leitten got the first takedown midway through the first period and it looked like he was going to take control but Carter escaped and eventually got a takedown to go up 3-2 into the third period. Popolizio wanted a takedown to tie things up in the third, but the referee didn’t give it to Leitten, who lost 7-2 with the riding time to start things off.
157: No. 1 redshirt junior Hayden Hidlay vs. No. 4 Larry Early
The second math of the night was the highest-ranked matchup and Hidlay got a huge takedown in the first and was close to ending the match early before Early was able to escape. Late in the second period, Early was able to get a takedown to go up by two but an escape from Hayden Hidlay made it 4-3. He also started down in the third period and got a quick escape to tie it up. With less than 10 seconds left and no riding time point possible, Hayden Hidlay tied the team score at 3-3 with a walk-off takedown.
“Huge match. I think that’s a match you could see in the national finals,” Popolizio said. “It’s good for him to get that win. He got beat last year and worked hard all offseason knowing that one was coming, so hats off to him for getting that job done.”
165: No. 10 redshirt junior Thomas Bullard vs. Shane Jones
Thomas Bullard wasn’t able to get much going as Jones got the first takeaway and collected 1:32 in riding time before Thomas Bullard got an escape. Another escape in the third tied it at two and it ended that way but Jones’ riding time notched Old Dominion a narrow 3-2 victory.
174: Sophomore Jacob Ferreira vs Alex Cramer
After going down 4-0 early, sophomore Jacob Ferreira was forced to move quickly and he did that by getting a takedown in the first and in the second. Ferreira, however, was releasing Cramer immediately after in an attempt to rack up points since he was down. Unable to get points quickly enough, Cramer won 10-4 to put ODU up 9-3 after four bouts.
184: No. 13 redshirt freshman Trent Hidlay vs. Antonio Agee
Trent Hidlay came onto the mat like a man on a mission and that mission was to keep NC State in this dual, grabbing the first takedown as soon as the starting whistle sounded. He went on to dominate the match 12-4. NC State was down 9-7 at this point.
197: Tyrie Houghton vs. Tim Young
The scoring started early in this one as Young was up 6-5 after one period thanks to a late takedown by Houghton, but the bout was tied up by a Houghton escape in the second. Houghton found control in the second period getting an early takedown to take an 8-6 lead but he didn’t even need that as a four-point near fall was followed by a fall to collect six team points and give NC State a 13-9 lead.
“One thing for sure, I knew I had better conditioning. I could do that all day, keep going for another three matches,” Houghton said. “Part of it is also, figuring it out, feeling him out the first period or so. He wrestled a little different, wrestling down on his knee… Once I got the hang of it, I was good.”
285: Sophomore Deonte Wilson vs. Will Hilliard
After a scoreless first, Hilliard started the second period with an escape to take a 1-0 lead. With under a minute left in the third period, Wilson scored the first takedown on the match to make it 2-1, then rode Hilliard for the remainder of the period to win it at that score. NC State extended its lead to 16-9 with the decision.
125: No. 13 redshirt freshman Jakob Camacho vs. Killian Cardinale
Camacho secured a takedown in the first period to go up 3-1 in a scrappy battle at 125 pounds. Each side traded escapes to start the second and third periods to put Camacho up 4-2 but ODU got a takedown to tie it up. At the minute mark remaining, Camacho escaped, but Cardinale bounced back with an escape to take the lead, resulting in the biggest upset of the night and making the score 16-12 Pack.
133: Kellen Devlin vs. Shannon Hanna
In a must-win match for NC State to ice the dual, the bout went scoreless until Hanna picked up an escape in the second period. Then, Hanna collected a two-point near fall in the third before Devlin got the escape to go up 3-1. Devlin, however, didn’t give up and turned the tides and the score with a four-point near fall with under 30 seconds left and another takedown to win the bout 9-5 in the clutch. NC State led 19-12.
“I saw fight,” Popolizio said. “I think a lot of guys in that position might’ve not tried to score those points in that situation and he went after it. Huge takedown and the back points and sealed the deal for him and then obviously separated the dual meet score, so it was big and that’s a confidence booster for him because he’s that good.”
141: No. 11 redshirt junior Tariq Wilson vs. No. 14 Sa’Derian Perry
In the final bout with NC State already taking home the win, Wilson and Perry both came out firing but neither could find any points in the first period. Wilson got the second-period escape and then a takedown in that was challenged bu ODU, but the call stood, putting Wilson up 3-0. After a pair of escapes for Perry, Wilson was able to ride the rest of the bout out to win 3-2.
Old Dominion was deducted a point from its score for unsportsmanlike conduct to finalize the score at 22-11.
Next up for NC State wrestling will be the Wolfpack Duals on Saturday, Nov. 16 against Belmont Abbey (noon), UNC-Pembroke (1:30 p.m.) and Reinhardt (3 p.m.) at Carmichael Gym. Its next dual will be in Ithaca, New York against Cornell on Saturday, Nov. 23.