PC: Tony Rotundo

2023 Southern Scuffle Finals Recap

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This blog will be updated for the duration of the Southern Scuffle finals (you may have to refresh)

125- #1 Matt Ramos (Purdue) over #3 Noah Surtin (Mizzou), 4-3

Matt Ramos got his offense rolling in style with a clean duck-under, and took Surtin right to his back for two back points and a 4-0 lead just under two minutes into the first period. Ramos followed his takedown and back points with a solid ride, accumulating 1:04 of riding time going into the second period with a 4-1 lead.

Surtin seemed to have trouble finding his way to his feet early in the second period, but then was able to reverse Ramos to make it 4-3. Surtin immediately went to work on top, wiping out all of Ramos’ riding time going into the third period.

With a 1 point lead, Ramos took neutral to start the third after a great ride from Surtin. Ramos showed great defense and hand-fighting in the third period to prevent Surtin to finding any attacks.

133- #1 Daton Fix (Ok State) over Brayden Palmer (Chattanooga), 7-3

Daton Fix got on the scoreboard first just over a minute into the first period, scoring off a slick low-single that Fix had to work hard for. Fix was able to flatten out Palmer quickly with two-legs in on top, and kept the pressure forward for the rest of the period, taking a 2-0 lead into the second period with 1:23 minutes of riding time.

Palmer sucked back Fix into a crab-ride immediately to start the third, and Fix was able to scoot his hips out for a quick reversal, then dumped the legs back in on top to continue his ride. After a stalemate, Palmer got a reset on bottom which was what he needed. Palmer was able to get to his feet to end the second period, and made it 4-1 going into the third.

Palmer got up and out quickly to start the third period, but Fix locked up riding time shortly into the period. Fix then found his offense once again, scoring on another single-leg for his second takedown of the match. Fix continued to fire in on Palmer, and held onto a leg as time expired to earn his second Southern Scuffle Championship.

141- #1 Andrew Alirez (Northern Colorado) over #2 Allan Hart (Mizzou), 8-4

Andrew Alirez, the top-ranked wrestler in the country at 141-pounds, scored first off a beautiful re-attack on the edge of the mat to give him a 2-0 lead in the first period. Allan Hart was able to get back to his feet quickly, however Alirez capitalized and scored another takedown with a single-leg to extend his lead to 4-1 going into the second period.

Alirez went down to start the second period, and eventually worked his way to a reversal to extend his lead to 6-1. Hart did a good job riding Alirez for the majority of the second period, until Alirez created space with a switch, and kept turning into the leg for a reversal. Hart got back to his feet with short time in the second period, which resulted in a 4-point lead for Alirez to start the third.

Hart chose down to start the third, and got to his feet right away to make it a 6-3 match. Alirez continued his aggressive offense, scoring off another re-attack to extend his lead to 8-4 with a minute to wrestle in the third. Alirez ended the third with great defense, and didn’t allow Hart to finish with short time.

149- Kellyn March (NDSU) over #4 Victor Voinovich (Ok State), 5-3

Victor Voinovich found his offense first late in the opening period, scoring cleanly off a head-outside single. March looked like the aggressor for most of the period, working deep under-hooks and having Voinovich on his heels until giving too much pressure.

Voinovich blasted right to his feet for another point to start the second, and extended his lead to 3-0. The second period was very similar to the first, with March pressuring in hard. Voinovich almost scored again off the same setup, but time expired with no score.

March chose down to start the third period, looking to make it a one-takedown match with an escape. Voinovich went right back to his leg-ride, but got too high and March capitalized with a reversal to make it 3-2 with a minute remaining. March had Voinovich in danger on top, having an assassin locked up which resulted in March accumulating over a minute of riding time to tie up the bout at 3-3 with time expiring.

After Voinovich was in on the legs the entire match, March flipped the switch in sudden victory and blasted in on a shot and got the takedown on the edge of the mat to pick up a huge win and a Southern Scuffle title at 149-pounds.

157- #2 Jared Franek (NDSU) over #1 Kendall Coleman (Purdue), 3-2 TB

Although the first period was scoreless, Kendall Coleman was close to scoring on a deep single-leg, and used many fake attacks to keep Franek on edge and defensive.

Coleman got on the scoreboard first, taking a 1-0 lead with an early escape in the second period. The second period followed the first with no wrestlers able to score the first takedown, with Franek going under and looking to tie the match at 1-1.

Franek got to his feet wasting no time, and forcing this 157-pound final to a one-takedown match to decide the gold medal. With short time in third, Franek got in super deep on a single leg, and Coleman showed unhuman defense in order to fight off the takedown and send the bout into sudden victory.

In sudden victory, Franek got back in another deep single-leg, where Coleman was able to roll through the leg once again putting him in position to score. After an unbelievable scramble, no points were awarded as both wrestlers’ corners had the challenge brick in hands. Both wrestlers had great chances to score, but incredible defense on both sides sent the bout into tie-breakers.

Franek got to his feet in under five seconds to start the first tie-breaker, which set himself up nicely to start the ride on Coleman. Franek ended up with a three second riding time advantage, which forced Coleman to be on the heavy attack in order to win the match. Franek stayed strong, and looked really impressive for back-to-back titles for North Dakota State.

165- #1 Shane Griffith (Stanford) over #2 Michael Caliendo (NDSU), 3-2

NDSU’s Michael Caliendo scored the first point of the bout with an escape early in the second period. Neither wrestlers came close to a score in the first period, however returning NCAA Champion Shane Griffith scored the first takedown, slipping in a merkle for a quick two points. Griffith is known to be tough on top, but Caliendo got up and out to his feet for the second time to tie the bout at 2-2 going into the third period.

Off the whistle, Caliendo had a tight tilt locked in, and nearly had back points before Griffith kicked out and got to his feet to take the lead with a minute to wrestle in the third period. Caliendo came close to a takedown with a nice trip, but Griffith was able to square up and defend off Caliendo for the title at 165-pounds.

174- #1 Dustin Plott (Ok State) over #2 Peyton Mocco (Mizzou), 12-7

Mizzou’s Peyton Mocco wasted no time, blasting in on a fast low-double, which gave Plott no room to defend. Plott got back to his feet quickly, but it’s Mocco’s lead 2-1. Mocco got back into another attack, but Plott was able to kick over and get into a shot of his own, but Mocco scrambled through that and a cradle to get the takedown of his own to extend his lead to 4-1. Plott got back up once again, and Mocco shot back in once again, however couldn’t score to end a entertaining first period.

Plott chose down to start the second, and got to his feet to limit Mocco’s lead to 4-3. Plott got to his offense right away in the second, scoring off a single-leg on the edge of the mat to give Plott the lead for the first time in the bout. Mocco got to his feet to tie the bout at 5-5, but was fired on immediately by Plott. Mocco was forced to scramble, and ended up getting called for scissoring the head, and gave the lead back to Plott (6-5).

To start the third period, Plott cut Mocco to even the match a 6-6, looking to score his third takedown of the match, which he did. Plott wrestled through his takedown, and ended up catching Mocco on his back for a huge four back points to put the bout out of reach with short time remaining in the third. After suffering the first takedown of the match, Plott fought his way back for the gold at 174-pounds.

184- #1 Travis Wittlake (Ok State) over DeAnthony Parker Jr (NDSU), 3-1

NDSU’s DeAnthony Parker came close to scoring seconds into the match, however Wittlake was ready and defended off the early attack. The rest of the first period consisted of hand-fighting, with both wrestlers looking to create an opening to score, but neither could.

Parker got banged in the back of the head as Wittlake escaped to open the second period, which forced him on injury time. Wittlake was given choice due to Parker’s inury time, and went down with a 1-0 lead. Wittlake got up and out again, extending his lead to 2-0, scoring both on escapes. Wittlake put the pressure on Parker in the second, who gave up two stalling calls and another point for Wittlake with short time in the second.

Wittlake started the third period with a good ride, preventing Parker from getting to his feet off the break. Wittlake continued to control Parker with an inside wrist and spiral ride, which had Parker in trouble until he found a way to his feet with less than 30 seconds remaining. Wittlake stayed tough on the feet, and didn’t need a takedown to win the second straight gold medal for the Cowboys.

197- #4 Owen Pentz (NDSU) over #2 Lou Deprez (Binghamton), Inj. Default

Binghamton’s Lou Deprez got to his single-leg right away, and finished cleanly to take a 2-0 lead in the opening period. Pentz got to his feet shortly following Deprez’s takedown, however Deprez got right back to his single-leg for his second takedown of the period. Pentz got back to his feet again, and fired a single-leg of his own to even the bout at 4-4 as the first period expired.

As Deprez was getting set to start the second period on top, Deprez seemed to injure his ankle which he then immediately called off the match. It seemed that Deprez hurt his ankle defending off the last shot from Pentz, and tweaked it again as the second period began. Seemed like a pretty serious injury, best wishes to Deprez to get healthy soon.

285- #1 Zach Elam (Mizzou) over Cory Day (Binghamton), 5-0

Both Elam and Day spent the first period looking for a score, but neither were able to find an opening. With less than 30 seconds to go in the opening period, Elam pressured Day out of bounds, which resulted in Day being called for stalling.

Elam went down to start the second, and Day got aggressive looking for a power half. Elam was able to catch a foot and shook Day off for a reversal and a 2-0 lead. Elam seemed to have a big weight advantage, and used that to keep the pressure on top of Day, which resulted in Day getting called for stalling once again. The second stall call gave Elam a 3-0 lead going into the third, and accumulated 1:20 of riding time.

Day chose top in the third looking to get a turn on the power half, but Elam got up and out quickly to extend his lead to 4-0. Elam kept looking to score late in the third period, but will contently walk away with a first place finish at the Scuffle.

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Cael Turnbull
Cael Turnbull
Journalism Major at Temple University Graduating in May of 2023

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