No. 7 Montorie Bridges Claims Wins, Cowboys Sweep First Two Duals of Year

From the Desk of Harry Endicott

TROY, N.Y. – The Wyoming wrestling team opened it’s dual meet season with a wins over Virginia and Edinboro as part of the Northeast Duals extravaganza.

“It was a pretty good day overall,” head coach Mark Branch said. “We have seven new guys in the lineup, so we didn’t really know how we were going to compete as a dual team. I think we got better between the Virginia dual—which was going to be a little tighter—and the Edinboro dual. We saw some improvements between those duals. It was a good start to come out after traveling this far to get our first two duals under our belt and get our first two victories.”

The Cowboys (2-0) opened the day with a 21-9 victory over Virginia before returning to the mat just 20-plus minutes later to knock off Edinboro, 33-6.

“Watching our young guys, they’re already showing improvement so there are a lot of positives on the day,” Branch said. “We’ve got to make weight again at scratch tomorrow, so we’ve got to keep working here to get that weight off. We get started tomorrow in an individual format, so our guys will get about three matches each tomorrow and we’ll see some different schools, which is good.

“This was a great way to start the season off, and definitely got two big dual victories for a very young team. I’m looking forward to what’s next tomorrow.”

Against Virginia, four Cowboys got key wins in their first dual starts, while veterans Montorie Bridges, Branson Ashworth and Dewey Krueger held serve in their matches.

After Virginia opened up with a 9-2 decision by No. 7 Louie Hayes over Cowboy Cole Verner, Wyoming tied it back up at 3-all with a Bridges 7-5 decision over Brian Courtney. Bridges recorded a pair of takedowns in the first to get to the first break with a 4-1 lead, but a stalling point and takedown awarded to Courtney over the following two periods were enough to get the Cavalier back in the match; however, Bridges was able to outlast Courtney’s final efforts for the win.

The Cavaliers would respond with a Sam Krivus 5-3 decision over Wyoming’s Sam Turner to retake a 6-3 lead, but from there the Cowboys were able to string together four consecutive victories to take control of the dual.

Jaron Jensen tallied his first dual win in a 6-4 edge over Virginia’s Michael Murphy at 149 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Murphy opened the second with an escape from the down position and a takedown just five seconds later to take an early, 3-0 lead. Jensen was able to escape before the end of the second, and headed into the third trailing 3-1, but the redshirt sophomore came up big in the third with a pair of takedowns to lock up the first dual win of his career.

At 157, Dewey Krueger started hot with a takedown and pair of nearfalls to get to the second period of his match against Jake Keating with an 8-0 advantage. Krueger was able to record another takedown to open the second and stretch his lead to 10, but Keating wouldn’t go away quietly as the Cavalier recorded a couple of takedowns and a nearfall in the final frame to tighten the score; however, it was too late as Krueger came out with the 13-7 decision.

In the only ranked matchup of the day, No. 11 Ashworth dominated No. 19 Cam Coy in a 6-1 decision. Ashworth scored a pair of takedowns while preventing Coy from scoring anything but a third-period escape.

A 3-0 win by Hayden Hastings at 174 pounds stretched the Wyoming lead to 15-6. Hastings scored a takedown in the opening 30 seconds of his match with Robby Patrick, which would be enough for the win as he rode out the period and prevented Patrick from answering over the final four minutes. The win was the first dual win of Hastings’ career.

After Virginia got on the board again at 184 pounds to cut the Wyoming lead to five, the Cowboys were faced with having to win one of the final two bouts of the dual to secure the win.

Making his first start for the Pokes, redshirt freshman Cale Davidson was up to the task. Davidson overcame an early takedown for Virginia’s Jay Aiello with a reversal and rideout to end the first period. The Cowboy would add a takedown and escape in the final two periods while holding Aiello scoreless to stretch the team score advantage to eight and put away his 6-2 decision.

Heavyweight Brian Andrews closed out the dual for the Brown and Gold with a 6-4 decision over Quinn Miller.

No. 21 Wyoming 21, Virginia 9
Journeymen Northeast Duals at Troy, N.Y.
125: No. 7 Louie Hayes (UVA) dec. Cole Verner (WYO) 9-2
133: No. 7 Montorie Bridges (WYO) dec. Brian Courtney (UVA) 7-5
141: Sam Krivus (UVA) dec. Sam Turner (WYO) 5-3
149: Jaron Jensen (WYO) dec. Michael Murphy (UVA) 6-4
157: Dewey Krueger (WYO) dec. Jake Keating (UVA) 13-7
165: No. 11 Branson Ashworth (WYO) dec. No. 19 Cam Coy (UVA) 6-1
174: Hayden Hastings (WYO) dec. Robby Patrick (UVA) 3-0
184: Will Schany (UVA) dec. Carless Looney (WYO) 5-2
197: Cale Davidson (WYO) dec. Jay Aiello (UVA) 6-2
HWT: Brian Andrews (WYO) dec. Quinn Miller (UVA) 6-4"

The Cowboys opened the second dual winning the first seven matches to clinch the win before Edinboro ever got on the board. In all, the Brown and Gold came away with eight wins, including five coming with bonus points.

Cole Verner picked up his first win of the day at 125 pounds, posting a 5-1 win over Edinboro’s Lucas Rodriguez. It was his first career dual win. 

At 133 pounds, Montorie Bridges was all over Richie Gomez, racking up six takedowns on the way to a 14-4 win. With the win, Bridges recorded his first major decision of the season and 10th of his career. 

Sam Turner got back on track at 141 pounds, shutting out PJ Gohn for the 4-0 win to stretch Wyoming’s lead to 10-0 in the early going. 

Redshirt sophomore Jaron Jensen recorded the Pokes’ first pin of the day in an impressive win over Christopher Matzke. Jensen was leading, 11-3, midway through the third and had the win well in hand, but was able to turn Matzke to his back for the fall. It was Jensen’s first bonus point win of the year. 

Dewey Krueger added some more bonus points for the Cowboys at 157 pounds, outperforming Tim Suter in an 11-1 major decision. Krueger racked up four takedowns and well over two minutes of riding time in the win to push him to 2-0 on the day. 

At 165, Branson Ashworth turned in an offensive explosion, racking up seven takedowns, a reversal and a pair of nearfalls for the 24-6 technical fall over Edinboro’s Matthew Dowler. Dowler stood little chance against the Cowboy senior from the start, as Ashworth led 8-1 after the first period and never looked back. 

Hayden Hastings was able to pick up his second win of the day with an 8-5 decision over Jacob Oliver. Hastings opened with a takedown in the first minute of the match, and after Oliver responded with a couple of takedowns of his own to tie it at four, Hastings was able to escape and record a takedown with a minute and 20 seconds to go in the final period to all but clinch the win. 

With the dual result already decided, the Fighting Scots picked up a couple of wins at 184 and 197, but the Cowboys would have the last laugh, getting the 15-0 technical fall from Brian Andrews over Jon Spaulding. Andrews had an offensive flurry, recording a pair of takedowns and three nearfalls while denying Spaulding any scores.

No. 21 Wyoming 33, Edinboro 6
125: Cole Verner (WYO) dec. Lucas Rodriguez (BORO) 5-1
133: No. 7 Montorie Bridges (WYO) MD Richie Gomez (BORO) 14-4
141: Sam Turner (WYO) dec. PJ Gohn (BORO) 4-0
149: Jaron Jensen (WYO) F Christopher Matzke (BORO) 5:40
157: Dewey Krueger (WYO) MD Tim Suter (BORO) 11-1
165: No. 11 Branson Ashworth (WYO) TF Matthew Dowler (BORO) 24-6
174: Hayden Hastings (WYO) dec. Jacob Oliver (BORO) 8-5
184: Zach Ancewicz (BORO) dec. Carless Looney (WYO) 2-1
197: Dylan Reynolds (BORO) dec. Cale Davidson (WYO) 6-3
HWT: Brian Andrews (WYO) TF Jon Spaulding (BORO) 15-0