The Chattanooga Mocs had an outstanding showing at the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2 and coach Kyle Ruschell was interested to see how that success carried over into dual-meet action.
Ruschell left McKenzie Arena Sunday afternoon with a smile on his face after his Mocs basically manhandled the Gardner Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs.
The Mocs improved to 4-6 overall and 2-0 in Southern Conference action with the 34-5 victory while Gardner Webb is now 1-4 overall and 0-2 in conference meets.
The Mocs won eight of the 10 matches and got bonus points in three of them.
Matthew Waddell had the only pin of the day as he stuck Christian Salter with 1:02 left in his match after building a commanding 16-6 lead with eight takedowns.
Grayson Walthall and Fabian Gutierrez both won with technical falls while Colton Landers, Tyler Shilson, Hunter Fortner and Rodney Jones all won with regular decisions.
Brandon Bright and R.J. Mosley were the only two winners for Gardner Webb and both came as regular decisions.
“I thought we started off kind of slow, but we ended up scoring a lot of points and doing pretty well overall,” Ruschell said following the match.
“I was really proud of Colton Landers. He had an outstanding tournament at the Scuffle and proved today that he deserved to be in our lineup. He had a tough match and won, so I’m really happy for him.
“I thought we came out ready to wrestle. We knew that they (Gardner Webb) didn’t have a winning record, but we couldn’t afford to take them lightly. But after a match like this, we just need to keep it going. We need more people here to watch us and to make it louder, but overall, I’m happy with our performance today,” the slender coach added.
Gardner Webb head coach Daniel Elliott chose to not comment on Sunday’s match, but assistant coach Scott Mattingly did.
“I thought we competed hard, but we made a few mistakes along the way. It’s hard to feel good about the matches where we gave up bonus points, but I was really proud of Brandon Bright.
“He’s been hot and cold for us this season, so it was nice to see him pull out his match there at the end,” Mattingly added.
The match began at 149 pounds where Chattanooga’s Tanner Smith was awarded a forfeit.
Shilson extended Chattanooga’s lead to 9-0 with an 11-4 decision at 157 before Mosley put the Runnin’ Bulldogs on the board with a 4-2 decision over Drew Nicholson at 165.
Fortner then posted a thrilling 6-5 decision over Samuel Mora in the match at 174 pounds in what turned out to be the best match of the day.
Mora scored the first takedown and had a 2-1 lead when the first period ended.
Fortner had two escapes and a penalty point while Mora’s takedown had the score knotted at 4-4 with two minutes to go.
Mora took a 5-4 lead with an escape 28 seconds into the period, but Fortner was able to pull out the win when he was awarded a takedown with two seconds remaining.
Elliott was just a bit too vocal in showing his displeasure over that late call and his team was docked a point as a result.
Landers had a 4-0 decision at 133 to give Chattanooga its biggest lead at 34-2, setting the stage for Bright’s 7-5 decision in the last match of the day.
The Mocs will be on the road for their next two matches, starting with the 23rd-ranked Virginia Cavaliers next Friday, followed by a road skirmish with VMI on Jan. 21.
The Mocs return home for a key conference match with Appalachian State on Sunday, Feb. 2.
That match will be held at McKenzie Arena, as will the final home meet against Indiana on Feb. 21.
Appalachian State will host the SoCon Tournament on March 8 while the NCAA tournament in Minneapolis on Mar. 19-21 will wrap up the season.
CHATTANOOGA 34, GARDNER WEBB 5
(Match Began At 149 Pounds)
125 – Fabian Gutierrez (UTC) won by technical fall over Michael Pappaconstantinou, 3:59;
133 – Colton Landers (UTC) dec. Trevon Majette, 4-0;
141 – Brandon Bright (GW) dec. Aidan Murphy, 7-5;
149 – Tanner Smith (UTC) won by forfeit;
157 – Tyler Shilson (UTC) dec. Taylor Parks, 11-4;
165 – R.J. Mosley (GW) dec. Drew Nicholson, 4-2;
174 – Hunter Fortner (UTC) dec. Samuel Mora, 6-5;
184 – Matthew Waddell (UTC) pinned Christian Salter, 5:58;
197 – Rodney Jones (UTC) dec. Roderick Davis, 8-4;
285 – Grayson Walthall (UTC) won by technical fall over Gabriel Pickett, 5:26.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)