LEXINGTON, Va. - Despite a one-point difference through the fourth match, the Virginia Military Institute wrestling team fell victim to a late surge against Campbell University in a Southern Conference match Friday night at The Thunderdome. The Camels won five of the final six weights to secure a 29-12 win over VMI.
The Keydets (2-10, 0-3 SoCon) picked up wins at 141 and 149 pounds, as well as a forfeit at heavyweight, but Campbell remained undefeated in conference matches (2-0, 2-0 SoCon) thanks to wins from 157 to 197 pounds, including three with bonus points.
Campbell, which knocked off perennial conference power Appalachian State 26-15 last week, picked up wins at 125 and 133 pounds from brothers Tyler and Drew Walker, respectively. The former knocked off VMI’s Dalton Henderson 5-2 while the latter bested Michael Flora by a 12-4 major decision, putting Campbell up 7-0.
But the Keydets rallied, beginning with Emmitt Kelly at 141 pounds. The sophomore worked three takedowns, including a pair in the third period to amass two minutes of riding time over Michael Dahlstrom, giving Kelly a 7-3 win and cutting the Camels’ lead nearly in half, 7-3.
VMI’s rally continued at 149 pounds as Shabaka Johns picked up another decision for the Keydets. After a scoreless first period with Brent Jorge, the Camel got an escape in the second period to grab a 1-0 advantage heading into the third. Jones had choice and opted for the bottom position, quickly getting an escape and hitting Jorge with a takedown to seal his 4-1 victory, boosted by over a minute and a half of riding time, pulling the Keydets within one point.
Arguably the best match of the night was at 157 pounds as VMI’s Ted Gottwald was pitted against Campbell’s Grant Blumenthal. Campbell’s grappler scored a takedown with just 18 seconds left in the period, but Gottwald chose bottom in the second period and escaped in just six seconds before hitting Blumenthal with a takedown 20 seconds later, putting VMI’s Three-Legged Stool winner up 3-2. But Blumenthal wiggled free and knotted the bout 3-3 headed into the third period.
Blumenthal opted for bottom in the third, getting a reversal with just over a minute left in the period to grab a 5-3 lead. Gottwald benefitted from a Blumenthal miscue and picked up two points for a reversal, tying the match 5-5 with just 17 seconds left in regulation.
After going back-and-forth early in the overtime period with takedown attempts, Blumenthal wrestled Gottwald to the mat with just six seconds left and picking up a 7-5 sudden victory, putting Campbell up 10-6.
Over the next five bouts, Campbell picked up two wins by fall at 165 and 184 pounds, in addition to a major decision at 197 pounds, putting the Camels’ lead out of the grasp of VMI.
In the final match of the night, Campbell forfeited to VMI’s Juan Adams.
The Keydets are back in action on Sunday when they head to Fairfax, Va. to face George Mason University. Match time is set for 5 p.m. in the Patriots’ Recreation Athletic Complex.
Friday Jan. 17, 2014 - VMI vs. Campbell - The Thunderdome (Cocke Hall) - Lexington, Va.
Wt. Winner (School) Decision Type Loser (School) Bout Score (Running Score VMI-CU)
125: Tyler Walker (CU) DEC Dalton Henderson (VMI) 5-2 (0-3)
133: Drew Walker (CU) MAJ DEC Michael Flora (VMI) 12-4 (0-7)
141: Emmitt Kelly (VMI) DEC Michael Dahlstrom (CU) 7-3 (3-7)
149: Shabaka Johns (VMI) DEC Brent Jorge (CU) 4-1 (6-7)
157: Grant Blumenthal (CU) SV-1 Ted Gottwald (VMI) 7-5 (6-10)
165: Paul Duggan (CU) WBF Mark Darr (VMI) 5:47 (6-16)
174: Cody Ryba (CU) DEC Derek Thurman (VMI) 8-7 (6-19)
184: Ville Heino (CU) WBF Hardy Hendren (VMI) 2:25 (6-25)
197: Taylor McGiffen (CU) MAJ DEC Andrew Embree (VMI) 11-3 (6-29)
285: Juan Adams (VMI) Wins By Forfeit (12-29)