Fehlhafer and the ‘Dogs flatten Doane
SEWARD, Neb. – The 25th-ranked Concordia University wrestling team surrendered only three takedowns and won all nine contested matches as part of a dominating 39-6 victory over Doane College inside Walz Arena on Tuesday night. The Bulldogs used three pins, a technical fall and a major decision on the way to improving to 6-5 overall and 2-0 in GPAC duals.
Going up against a first-year wrestling program, Concordia took full advantage of the winless Tigers (0-7, 0-1 GPAC). The guys in blue singlets racked up 21 takedowns and nine near falls.
“Our focus the last couple of weeks has been on building leads and finishing matches,” Bulldog second-year head coach Dana Vote said. “We want to continue to score points. Guys just kept building on it tonight. That’s been our focus and it showed.”
With several family members on hand once again for the hometown standout, 174-pound freshman Austin Fehlhafer got after the Tigers’ Austin Borne with a quick takedown preceding a pin that came in 1:42. The machine-like Fehlhafer improved to 19-8 with 15 wins via pinfall.
“He just gets tougher each time out,” Vote said. “Fifteen pins is impressive no matter what grade you’re in.
“He’s not doing it by catching guys. He’s dominating opponents.”
Additional pins came at 133 and 141. Senior Alex Stepanek (141) recorded the fastest fall of the night by polishing off Jon Larson in 1:08 on the heels of an early takedown. Stepanek (10-10) perfectly executed his aggressive game plan in attacking immediately upon the first whistle.
“I wanted to work more of my offense in this match,” Stepanek said. “I knew if I saw a cradle I wasn’t going to pass up that opportunity knowing that anything could happen. The guy took a bad shot and his knee got too close to his head so I just wrapped it up and took it over.”
Bulldog junior Emilio Rivera (15-6), ranked ninth in the NAIA at 133, built up a large lead before putting Derrick Hoffman away. Rivera took command with four takedowns and a three-point near fall in the first period. Rivera added another takedown in the second period and led 13-3 when he notched his fifth pin of the season.
Enrique Barajas (12-9), No. 10 at 149, moved to 157 on Tuesday and easily defeated Taylor Hancock. Barajas, a native of Hayward, Calif., came close to pinning Hancock several times but settled for a 16-1 win by technical fall. Barajas scored five takedowns and totaled seven back points for his 12th win of the season.
Concordia also got a major decision by Foster Bunce (149, 12-7), who came up just short of a pin on two occasions in the first period, as well as decisions courtesy of Dmitri Smith (125, 7-8), Billy Behle (165, 3-11), Noel Richardson (184, 6-12) and Ken Burkhardt Jr. (197, 11-10).
The night’s closes match was contested at 165 where Behle held off Carlos Toledano by a 4-3 decision. The Tigers got their first takedown of the night when Toledano recorded two points in the second period.
In individual matches, Concordia is now 15-2 against Doane opponents with one of the losses coming by forfeit on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs will host for the final time this season when No. 13 Morningside (4-6, 0-0 GPAC) visits Seward for another GPAC dual at 7 p.m. on Thursday (Jan. 16). Concordia’s four seniors (Martin Dobler, Austin Mogg, Nick Sheppard and Stepanek) will be recognized as part of the Senior Night presentation during an intermission. The Mustangs will bring 11 regionally ranked and six nationally ranked wrestlers into Walz Arena.
“Morningside is a tough team. Even if that wasn’t Senior Night, it was going to be a hard fought match,” Stepanek said. “Knowing it’s my last home dual I just have to go out there wrestle at my best and give it all my heart because I’m not going to get another chance here.”
For further details on Thursday’s dual, click HERE.
14 January 2014
Junior Enrique Barajas
Freshman Dmitri Smith
Head coach Dana Vote