After putting it on No. 8 Wisconsin on Friday night, the No. 13-ranked Huskers finished their weekend road trip with a commanding 23-12 win over No. 24 Northwestern on Sunday afternoon.
Nebraska won six matches to Northwestern’s four, but it was how the Huskers won those matches that set the tone in this one. Nebraska won two matches by tech fall and another by major decision, jumping out to a quick 17-0 lead after four matches.
Again, Nebraska was able to field its optimal lineup. When at full strength, this Husker team is a trophy threat in the postseason.
*FloWrestling individual rankings used
The dual started with Bubba Wilson taking the mat for Nebraska against fellow freshman David Ferrante.
After a scoreless first period, Wilson got an escape to start the second to go up 1-0. Ferrante then evened things up with an escape in the third, but the young Husker got a go-behind takedown to take the lead. After giving up the late escape, Wilson took the match 3-2, improving his record to 9-8 on the season.
Team Score: Nebraska 3, Northwestern 0
Instead of facing Northwestern’s No. 21 Troy Fisher, the No. 5-ranked Mikey Labriola faced off against his backup Ankhaa Enkmandakh.
It didn’t go well for Enkmandakh.
Labriola racked up nine takedowns while adding on four near fall points and an escape on the way to a 24-8 tech fall win for the Huskers, giving them valuable bonus points.
Labriola is now 13-1 on the year and looks really good going into a really tough stretch run for him.
Team Score: Nebraska 8, Northwestern 0
Looking for a bounce-back performance of his own, Nebraska’s No. 12 Taylor Venz picked up a bonus-point win against Northwestern’s Jack Jessen.
Venz started the match off slowly, falling behind 5-3 on a pair of go-behind takedowns by Jessen. But in the second period, Venz turned things on to go up 8-5 with an escape, takedown and a pair of near fall points.
In the final period, Venz started in the top position and was able to ride out the period while adding six total near fall points (four from the bow-and-arrow position in the video below) to get the 15-5 major decision win.
After winning both his matches this weekend, Venz is now 12-3 on the year.
Team Score: Nebraska 12, Northwestern 0
With momentum on the Huskers’ side, No. 6 Eric Schultz kept things rolling against Northwestern’s No. 19 Andrew Davison.
Schultz got a takedown in the first period before riding out Davison for the rest of the period. In the second, Schultz got two more takedowns to go up 7-1.
But it was in the third that Schultz really turned it on, grabbing an absurd seven takedowns in two minutes for the 23-8 win by tech fall.
Schultz is now 10-1 on the year with some big matchups looming.
Team Score: Nebraska 13, Wisconsin 9
With a dominant dual lead, Nebraska’s No. 11 Christian Lance took on No. 12 Lucas Davison. Despite downing No. 7 Trent Hillger of Wisconsin on Friday night, Lance had trouble with the smaller Davison, who wrestled at 197 last season.
Davison scored a takedown in all three periods, dropping Lance 8-3 by decision.
Lance is now 12-3 on the year with some more big-name matchups on the horizon.
Team Score: Nebraska 17, Northwestern 3
Facing yet another Top-10 opponent, Husker freshman Jeremiah Reno again showed a lot of heart and toughness in limiting the loss to a decision rather than give up bonus points.
Reno faced No. 9 Michael DeAugustino of Northwestern. After wrestling to a scoreless first period, DeAugustino scored an escape and takedown to go up 3-0 on Reno. Reno got on the board with a third-period escape, but DeAugustino scored another takedown to earn a 6-1 decision over Reno.
Reno is now 3-9 on the year, but his record isn’t indicative of the progress he’s shown as the season has gone on.
Team Score: Nebraska 17, Northwestern 6
After getting his redshirt pulled on Friday against Wisconsin and earning an overtime win over No. 23 Kyle Burwick, Nebraska freshman Dominick Serrano took on Northwestern’s No. 9 Chris Cannon.
After a scoreless first period where Serrano’s athleticism was on full display as he fended off Cannon’s attacks, the young Husker took the lead in the second period with the match’s first takedown. Cannon then tied things up with his second escape and went up 4-2 with a takedown and ride out.
In the final period, Cannon was dinged for an illegal move before Serrano tied the match at 4-all with an escape. With riding time secured, Cannon essentially held a 5-4 lead and held off Serrano for the win, even though Serrano nearly secured a last-second takedown, just missing out on a Top-10 upset.
Serrano is now 12-6 on the year after being inserted into the varsity lineup.
Team Score: Nebraska 17, Northwestern 9
Nebraska looked to senior Chad Red Jr. to get them back in the winning column, and the No. 10-ranked 141-pounder in the country did just that against Northwestern’s Frankie Tal Shahar.
After a scoreless first period, Red went up 1-0 in the second period with an escape. Tal Shahar then tied the match at 1-all with an escape of his own to open the third period. Red went on to secure the match’s lone takedown to grab the 4-2 decision win.
141 | 4-2 decision for Red ❗️— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 23, 2022
Huskers | 20
Wildcats | 9 pic.twitter.com/MvNhvL5rAu
Red is now 9-2 on the year and has some upcoming matches against the country’s best at 141.
Team Score: Nebraska 20, Northwestern 9
After a tough loss on Friday night to Wisconsin’s No. 8 Austin Gomez, Nebraska’s No. 4 Ridge Lovett bounced back against Northwestern’s No. 11 Yahya Thomas.
Thomas stormed out with a quick takedown in the first ten seconds before taking a 6-3 lead going into the second on three takedowns. In the second, Lovett tied the match with an escape and takedown.
Then in the third period, Thomas elected to go underneath Lovett, which almost always turns out badly. The Husker rode Thomas hard for the full two minutes, earning a 7-6 win with the riding-time point.
149 | Ridge with the rideout to secure the 7-6 decision over Thomas. pic.twitter.com/EX6pavpiCI— Husker Wrestling (@HuskerWrestling) January 23, 2022
Lovett is now 13-2 on the year and should be favored in the rest of his regular-season matches.
Team Score: Nebraska 23, Northwestern 9
Facing arguably his toughest test yet, Nebraska’s No. 8 Peyton Robb struggled against No. 2 Ryan Deakin of Northwestern, an extremely physical wrestler.
After a scoreless first period, Deakin went up 3-0 with an escape and takedown in the second period. In the third, Robb chose the bottom position. It turned out to be a really bad idea to go underneath Deakin.
Deakin used an arm bar to try to turn Robb. On multiple occasions, Deakin was really cranking on Robb’s arm putting an extreme amount of pressure on his shoulder. Multiple times, it looked like it was seriously injuring Robb. In fact, Deakin was dinged for an illegal dangerous move, giving Robb a point.
Robb did get a last-second escape, but Deakin earned the most dominant 4-2 decision I have ever seen. Check it out below.
Robb drops to 8-4 on the year and may struggle to bounce back from this one.
Team Score: Nebraska 23, Northwestern 12
What’s Next for Nebraska?
The Huskers play host to No. 3 Michigan on Feb. 4 at the Devaney Sports Center. The dual is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will air on BTN.