CEDAR FALLS — CEDAR FALLS — Northern Iowa wrestling couldn’t overcome a rough start Friday night at West Gym, losing 25-13 to South Dakota State.
Trailing 6-0 after losses at 125 and 133, Michael Blockhus (12-6) used two third-period takedowns for a comeback 7-5 decision against Clay Carlson at 141 pounds.
“I think when Michael was hitting offense he was dynamite,” UNI coach Doug Schwab said. “He had some great attacks, but got to be willing to do more. But, he’s a good competitor, man.”
UNI (1-3, 1-1 Big 12) was unable to capitalize on Blockhus’ win when two Iowans — UNI’s Max Thomsen (Union Community) and SDSU’s Henry Pohlmeyer (Johnston) — scrapped to a 9-1 decision at 149 in favor of Pohlmeyer. Pohlmeyer’s near fall made for a 9-1 major decision and his third consecutive win over the UNI senior.
The Jackrabbits (5-3, 2-0) extended their lead after intermission when Tanner Cook countered Austin Yant’s double leg, pinning the redshirt sophomore in 6:07.
Bryce Steiert (15-2) maintained his unblemished dual record with 4:28 of riding time, five takedowns and one reversal for a 12-1 major decision over Cade King at 174.
“Bryce getting bonus points is always big,” Schwab said. “Guys are going to turtle up in situations because for (SDSU) that’s almost a victory, right? They only give up four points instead of five or six. But, then you’ve still got to find a way to open a guy up.”
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Taylor Lujan (15-2, 3-0) also remained unbeaten in dual action. His four takedowns against Zach Carlson gave him a 10-3 decision at 184 and his 100th career win to bring UNI back within nine at 19-10.
“I guess it’s an alright one to win (100) on,” Lujan said. “Wish the team would have done better. I know I should have done more to get bonus points for the guys, so that’s on me too.”
The Panthers’ hopes for an unlikely comeback were dashed at 197 when former Alburnett prep Tanner Sloan pinned Noah Glaser in 1:42.
Heavyweight Carter Isley (13-5, 3-0) wrapped up the Panthers’ losing night with a 3-1 sudden victory over Blake Wolters.
“I can’t go out and fight for them. We’ve got to have guys prepared to go to battle, man,” Schwab said. “If you’re not willing to do that for 420 seconds, I don’t care if we’re favored on paper, that means absolutely nothing. They whooped our tail. (Give up) bonus points in three matches and you lose six matches you’re going to have a hard time winning a dual.”
UNI is back in action Sunday at West Gym when it hosts Missouri (5-4, 2-0) at 2 p.m.