Barajas, Burkhardt Jr. pins carry Bulldogs to win over Beavers

By on Nov. 20, 2014 in Wrestling

Barajas, Burkhardt Jr. pins carry Bulldogs to win over Beavers

STORM LAKE, Iowa – Pins from Enrique Barajas and Ken Burkhardt Jr. allowed the 10th-ranked Concordia University wrestling team to earn a 24-18 dual win on the road despite splitting the 10 weight classes with host Buena Vista University. The Bulldogs (2-0) got two additional victories by decision and one by forfeit in winning for the second time this week.

Third-year head coach Dana Vote’s squad, which cracked the top 10 in the national rankings for the first time since February 2012, also defeated Doane, 35-12, in Tuesday’s GPAC-opening dual.

“Our higher ranked guys looked solid,” Vote said. “Some other guys need to start stepping up. I need to start seeing some more fight out of some of our guys.”

Burkhardt Jr. led 7-0 when he pinned Jacob Lewis in 1:41. The 11th-ranked 197-pounder busted out of the gates with two quick takedowns and then a three-point near fall before finishing off a dominant performance. The Milford native’s sixth win of the season provided a 24-12 Concordia advantage to clinch the team victory.

At 174, No. 6 Austin Fehlhafer bounced back from a loss on Tuesday at Doane to earn his first win of the season. Still rounding into form after missing Concordia’s first two tournaments, Fehlhafer came through with one takedown of Tyler Puls in all three periods for a 7-0 victory that gave the Bulldogs a commanding 18-9 lead with three matches remaining.

It took Eric Franklin a while to get going, but he recorded one takedown apiece in the second and third periods to erase an early 1-0 deficit. The fifth-ranked junior from Tampa, Fla., won by a 5-1 decision over Nashid Barrow to improve to 7-3 on the season. It was Franklin’s first match of the year at 141 after competing at 133 until Thursday night.

Enrique Barajas (competed at 157 on Thursday), ranked No. 6 nationally at 149, came out aggressively against Matthew Goth. Barajas posted three first-period takedowns and then immediately had Goth on his back to begin the second period. With under five seconds left in the match, the native of Heyward, Calif., notched his second pin of the season and became the first Bulldog to reach 10 wins on the year.

Coming off impressive outings at the Dakota Wesleyan Open and the dual at Doane on Tuesday, Noel Richardson fell for just the second time in his last nine matches. Richardson dropped a 10-5 decision to Austin Hayes at 184 pounds.

In a shuffled lineup, Vote inserted 2013-14 GPAC wrestler of the year Emilio Rivera back at the 133-pound slot with Franklin moving up to 141. Unopposed on Thursday, the sixth-ranked Rivera bumped his mark to 8-3.

The Beavers, a member of NCAA Division III’s Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, opened up their dual schedule on Thursday under first-year head coach Jeff Breese.

A select few Bulldogs will compete at the University of Nebraska-Kearney Open on Saturday. Concordia’s next dual will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 26 when it travels to Des Moines, Iowa, to challenge top-ranked Grand View University at 5 p.m. The Vikings have won each of the last three NAIA wrestling national championships.