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The Antelope

Lopers win 22nd straight over Fort Hays on senior night

Redshirt senior Teontae Wilson picked up his 14th win of the year against Clint Herrick of Fort Hays State at 157 pounds winning the match 4-1. Photo by Grant Tighe / Antelope Staff

The No. 3 UNK wrestling team gave a cold welcome on Friday to rival Fort Hays State for senior night. The Lopers handed Fort Hays a 33-6 defeat, their 22nd straight victory over the Tigers to improve to 10-6 on the year. 

UNK senior Teontae Wilson provided most of the excitement as he took on the Tigers’ Clint Herrick in the 157-pound matchup. Heading into the third period Wilson led 3-1. After a neutral start to begin the final period, Herrick took an advantage in the final 10 seconds. 

On the verge of a takedown that would have tied the score, Wilson escaped as time expired to win 4-1 in front of his hometown crowd.

“You know, that’s the moment you prepare for,” Wilson said. “It just feels good to go out there and get a win and finish on a positive note on senior night.”

The most anticipated matchup of the night came in the 174-pound class where UNK’s Austin Eldredge faced Cade Lindsey in a nationally ranked No. 3 vs. No. 4 matchup. 

In the third period, Eldredge survived a near-fatal takedown that would have given Lindsey an advantage by getting a reversal to tie it 4-4. Eldredge would maintain a top advantage and get Lindsey into a position where he could not move. 

Controversy arose when UNK’s bench and crowd clamored for a stalling call against Lindsey, which would have given Eldredge a one-point advantage. Instead, the referee called a stalemate that brought the home crowd and Loper bench into a frenzy. 

The wrestlers would head to a neutral start where they were both on their feet and Eldredge would regain the top advantage and would close out the match to get the 5-4 victory with riding time.

“That’s what going to have to happen for him to win a national title,” said UNK coach Dalton Jensen. “He’s going to have to win a match the hard way where he’s probably not going to get a turn so it’s good to see him win a match like that.”

Other top-ranked wrestlers getting wins for UNK included 184-pound Billy Higgins by fall over Bryce Westmoreland, Lee Herrington also picked up a win by fall in the 285-pound matchup as well. With the win, the Lopers extended their winning streak over rival Fort Hays to 22 straight.

The Lopers would use Saturday’s duel as a rest day of sorts. Letting reserve wrestlers step in and pick up a win over Central Missouri 35-9. 

The UNK wrestling team is back in action on Feb. 12 as they travel to Edmond, Oklahoma to take on the No. 1 Central Oklahoma Bronchos for a highly anticipated matchup. The Lopers will then get time off before heading to Chadron for the NCAA Super Regional on Feb. 25.

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