Courtesy: Dale Rutemeyer
Backups Lead Mocs to 37-9 Win at Davidson

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team wrapped up at least a share of another Southern Conference regular season title with a 37-9 win at Davidson today.  The Mocs rested a number of starters and only dropped one contested match to improve to 15-5 overall and 6-0 in SoCon action.

“All-in-all, it was a good weekend,” stated Chattanooga head coach Heath Eslinger.  “We got two good wins and have at least a share of the league title.  There is some work still left to do there, but we also have a big weekend coming up to get ready for.”

Davidson forfeited at three weights, which gave the Mocs a chance to rest junior Nick Soto at 133 without having to field a backup.  Sophomore Austin Sams (149) and freshmen Michael Pongracz (141) and Dawson Peck (285) were the only regulars to see the mat.  Sams dropped a 10-5 decision to Kevin Birmingham.  Pongracz and Peck both scored bonus points with a major decision and a pin, respectively. 

Freshman Kevin Cooper improved to 8-6 overall with an 8-3 decision over Patrick Devlin at 165.  Fellow freshman Michael Hooker posted an 8-4 win over Nathaniel Powers to move to 10-11 on the season.  Both were competing up two weight classes, but still pulled out convincing wins. 

Freshman Jared Johnson also came off the bench to score a win.  He shut out Michael Moore 6-0 at 197 to even his season mark at 4-4. 

“It was good to see some of the guys who don’t get a lot of action do well today,” added Eslinger.  “it helps that we can rest a few guys and keep them fresh for the rest of the season.”

Chattanooga is now 23-0 all-time against the Wildcats.  UTC has won 14-straight SoCon matches and is 28-1 in league duals in the Heath Eslinger era.  This is also the eight-straight dual win for Chattanooga. 

This is the 13th time the Mocs have won or tied for the SoCon Regular Season title since the league started recognizing a season winner in 1994.  UTC has won the SoCon Tournament 27 times since joining the league in 1978, including each of the last three.    

Chattanooga can win the SoCon outright with a victory at VMI on Feb. 23.  Before that, the Mocs have a big trip on tap to the NWCA National Duals on Feb. 26.  Those matches will take place in Columbus, Ohio.  Check back to GoMocs.com later in the when for specific times and opponents. 

No. 19 Chattanooga 37 – Davidson 9
125:  Byron Smith (UTC) won by forfeit – UTC 6-0

133:  Anthony Elias (Davidson) won by forfeit – Tied 6-6
141:  Mike Pongracz (UTC) - MD 9-1 - James McCord (Davidson) – UTC 10-6
149:  Kevin Birmingham (Davidson) – Dec. 10-4 - Austin Sams (UTC) – UTC 10-9
157:  Alex Hudson (UTC) won by forfeit – UTC 16-9
165:  Kevin Cooper (UTC) – Dec. 8-3 - Patrick Devlin (Davidson) – UTC 19-9
174:  Michael Hooker (UTC) – Dec. 8-4 - Nathaniel Powers (Davidson) – UTC 22-9
184:  John Lampe (UTC) won by forfeit – UTC 28-9
197:  Jared Johnson (UTC) – Dec. 6-0 - Michael Moore (Davidson) – UTC 31-9
285:  Dawson Peck (UTC) – Fall 1:48 - Eddie Isola (Davidson) – UTC 37-9

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