Peter Yazvac, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations
KEARNEY – Junior heavyweight Jarrod Hinrichs and sophomore 125 pounder Josh Portillo rallied very late to help second-ranked Nebraska-Kearney edge No. 18 Central Oklahoma, 19-15, Sunday afternoon in Edmond.
Going a long way to secure the 2019 MIAA Championship, UNK improves to 10-4 (3-0) while the Bronchos fall to 10-4 (2-1).
To start the exciting day, Portillo (Clarion, Ia.) was involved in a rare high scoring match that featured 36 combined points, seven takedowns, two reversals and 10 near fall points. Ranked second nationally, Portillo managed a reversal and 4-point near fall in the final eight seconds to literally slip past redshirt freshman Tanner Cole, 19-17.
Thanks to a 12-4 major decision by top-ranked Matt Malcom (Glenwood, Ia.) at 157 pounds and back-to-back shut outs at the next two weights by seniors Calvin Ochs (Hoxie, Kan.) and Zach Stodden (Broomfield, Colo.), UNK was up 16-6 heading into the final three matches.
However, a decision and fall by the ‘Chos made it just a one-point lead and setup Hinrichs (Geneva), ranked fifth in Division II, against senior Greg Wilson. Hinrichs fell behind 3-0 but used two escapes and a penalty point to force overtime. Wilson escaped in the first tie breaking period to move ahead but then jumped on the back of Hinrichs. He didn’t let go, allowing Hinrichs to get an escape and another penalty point and the 5-4 win.
The Lopers remain on the road and face the Newman Jets Monday night in Wichita.