CEDAR FALLS – The scoreboard behind the Northern Iowa bench fell apart Thursday night during the Panthers’ dual meet against Iowa.
The section that tracked the riding time popped loose and temporarily dangled above a few of the 2,200 fans who packed the sold out West Gym.
It was a symbolic moment late in a 39-0 victory for the seventh-ranked Hawkeyes. Iowa racked up so much riding time that even Northern Iowa’s scoreboard couldn’t take it after a while.
“Really, it’s where our guys are comfortable,” Iowa coach Tom Brands said of the top position. “When somebody’s giving you something and it’s working … stay where you’re good.”
The Hawkeyes (7-0) stayed there quite a bit. They accumulated 17 minutes and 34 seconds of riding time. They scored a riding time point in eight matches – every bout except the two that ended by pins – and finished 20 of the dual’s 28 periods in the top position.
“That’s huge,” Northern Iowa coach Doug Schwab said. “That’s tough to overcome.”
It was the 44th consecutive road victory and 68th straight win overall for the Hawkeyes. Schwab was in the Iowa corner for the past four years as an assistant to Brands before the 33-year-old replaced Brad Penrith in May.
Schwab’s first season with the Panthers (4-4) has featured some obstacles. The bottom position has been a recurring issue. It resurfaced Thursday.
“They rode us really hard,” Schwab said before pointing to another area he felt plagued the Panthers. “We gave up too many easy points. That’s the bottom line. I don’t care if you’re wrestling Iowa, Oklahoma State, Bloomsburg, it doesn’t matter if you give up easy points. If you give up easy points, those guys get strong in a hurry.
“That’s what happened in some of those situations where we’re in the match – ’57, ’84 – and we gave up early scores easy and then got ridden. Then we’re trying to work our way back in the match and it’s tough to overcome that.”
The Hawkeyes made matters difficult for the Panthers up and down the order. Iowa registered three major decisions and picked up falls from Jeret Chiri at 149 pounds and Matt McDonough at 125. The Hawkeyes notched 30 of the 31 takedowns in the dual.
“There’s a lot more that we can do to blow these things open when you’re talking across the board in our weight classes,” Brands said.
The Hawkeyes trailed in only one match. Chiri fell behind in the opening minute when Jamal Lawrence scored the only takedown for the Panthers. The Iowa sophomore came back with three of his own before cranking Lawrence midway through the third period for a fall.
McDonough made quick work of Terrance Young. The defending NCAA champion locked up a cradle on his way to a first-period fall.
Tony Ramos (133), Ethen Lofthouse (174) and Luke Lofthouse (197) cruised to major decisions.
Ethen Lofthouse scored seven takedowns on his way to a 16-5 win against Brice Wolf. The Iowa freshman scored just one in his previous two matches, both losses.
“After you lose some matches you go back, you watch film and get better,” he said. “I was working with (Iowa assistants) Terry (Brands) and (Mike) Zadick all week. I’ve just got to go out and do what I do best, and that’s attacking.”
Mark Ballweg (141) and Aaron Janssen (165) put matches away with their work on top and heavyweight Blake Rasing seized control of a 2-0 win Christian Brantley by riding the UNI junior out in the second period.
“We’ve had plenty of struggles (on the bottom),” said Schwab, an NCAA champion in 1999 for the Hawkeyes. “We spent a lot of time this summer, we spent a lot of time this fall, we’ve had days where it’s just all top-bottom work. It’s an area that’s a lot of confidence. Our guys are looking over to the corner and they’re saying down, but in their head I’m not sure what they’re thinking and whether they really want to go down or not.”
Ballweg gained control of his 3-0 win at 141 when he rode Aaron Senzee out in the second period and again after a quick takedown in the third.
Janssen took Nick Pickerell down midway through the second period and never let him up in a 4-0 win.
“(Pickerell) chooses down (to start the third period) and we made him pay for choosing down,” Brands said. “I like that.”
Janssen wasn’t as pleased. He’s in competition with senior Jake Kerr for the starting job at 165. Brands said he considers it a close race that will be sorted out in time, but Janssen said he could’ve widened the gap Thursday.
“Tom liked it, but I didn’t,” Janssen said. “I felt like I could’ve turned the heat up on him more.”
Iowa freshman Derek St. John scored a takedown with 40 seconds remaining to put David Bonin away 8-4 at 157 and Grant Gambrall held off Ryan Loder for a 4-2 win at 184.
It was the 36th straight win for the Hawkeyes in the series.
“If you guys think I’m feeling sorry for myself then you guys are crazy,” Schwab said. “You guys are crazy if you think I’m feeling sorry for myself because we got our tails whipped out there. That’s not the case at all. I’m more motivated than ever. It doesn’t matter about me, though. It matters with our guys.”
Iowa 39, Northern Iowa 0
133 – Tony Ramos (I) major dec. Ryan Jauch 12-3.
141 – Mark Ballweg (I) dec. Aaron Senzee 3-0.
149 – Jeret Chiri (I) pinned Jamal Lawrence 5:59.
157 – Derek St. John (I) dec. David Bonin 8-4.
165 – Aaron Janssen (I) dec. Nick Pickerell 4-0.
174 – Ethen Lofthouse (I) major dec. Brice Wolf 16-5.
184 – Grant Gambrall (I) dec. Ryan Loder 4-2.
197 – Luke Lofthouse (I) major dec. Joe Johnson 19-7.
Hwt. – Blake Rasing (I) dec. Christian Brantley 2-0.
125 – Matt McDonough (I) pinned Terrance Young 1:12.