Missouri roars back to top Northern Iowa, Claim MAC Championship

By Kyle Bratke | March 09, 2014, 10:07 p.m. (ET)
 Missouri claimed its second straight MAC 
Championship Sunday night in Kent, Ohio.
Mark Lundy Photo.

KENT, Ohio - In a team race that went down to the wire, the Missouri Tigers edged Northern Iowa 118.5 to 116 to claim a second consecutive MAC Championship.

Missouri was by No. 1 ranked Drake Houdashelt at 149 lbs. and J'Den Cox at 197 lbs., both of whom claimed individual MAC titles.

Houdashelt was pushed to overtime by Old Dominion’s Lenny Richardson before prevailing 3-1 in sudden victory 1.

No. 2 ranked J'Den Cox exacted revenge from one of his earlier losses this year when he defeated Ohio’s Phil Welligton by a10-1 major decision in the 197 lbs. championship finals.

"I didn't think we had a chance in hell,” said Missouri Head Coach Brian Smith. "They won the first three weights, and Northern Iowa even got a pin. I thought there's no way in hell we can do this," Smith added. "The kids never quit and found a way to do it. 

Runner-up Northern Iowa crowned four champions on the day, including striking gold in the first three weight classes.

Dylan Peters started things off right for the Panthers as he defeated Eastern Michigan’s Jared Germaine 10-7 in the 125-pound finals. Northern Iowa’s Joe Colon followed that up with an impressive 10-3 win over Joe Roth of Central Michigan.

Panther Joey Lazor continued the early Northern Iowa roll as he pinned No. 4 Chris Mecate of Old Dominion with a spladle in the second period of the 141-pound finals. UNI would crown their last MAC champion at 165 lbs. as Cooper Moore defeated Ohio’s Harrison Hightower 11-5.

"We didn't have quite enough, and Missouri put a charge on at the end,” said Northern Iowa Head Coach Dough Schwab.

Despite finishing fourth in the team standings, the Bobcats of Ohio University crowned two individual champions.

174 pounder and returning All-American Cody Walters won his second MAC title after defeating Billy Curling 5-2. Curling had previously defeated Walters earlier in the season.

Additionally, Ohio heavyweight Jeremy Johnson claimed his second MAC championship, taking out Missouri's Devin Mellon 7-1. 

Kent State and Old Dominion each crowned a champion of their own.

Ian Miller claimed the 157 lbs. championship for the Golden Flashes after defeating Central Michigan’s Luke Smith 9-4.

Jack Dechow (184) claimed the Monarchs lone title beating returning all-American Ryan Loder of Northern Iowa 4-2 in sudden victory. 

2014 MAC Wrestling Tournament Championship

Finals Results
125: Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa) def. Jared Germaine (Eastern Michigan), 10-7
133: Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) def. Joe Roth (Central Michigan), 10-3
141: Joey Lazor (Northern Iowa) def. Chris Mecate (Old Dominion), pin
149: Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) def. Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion), 3-1
157: Ian Miller (Kent State) def. Luke Smith (Central Michigan), 9-4
165: Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa) def. Harrison Hightower (Ohio), 11-5
174: Cody Walters (Ohio) def. Billy Curling (Old Dominion), 4-2
184: Jack Dechow (Old Dominion) def. Ryan Loder (Northern Iowa), 4-2
197: J'Den Cox (Missouri) def. Phillip Wellington (Ohio), 10-1
285: Jeremy Johnson (Ohio) def. Devin Mellon (Missouri), 7-1

Consolation Finals Results
125: Brandon Jeske (Old Dominion) dec. Corey Keener (Central Michigan) 4-0
133: Mack McGuire ( Kent State) dec Nick Smith (Northern Illinois) 10-3
141: Nick Flannery (Buffalo) dec Mike Shaw (Eastern Michigan) 8-6
149: Michael Depalma ( Kent State) dec Tywan Claxton (Central Michigan) 5-0
157: Joseph LaValle (Missouri) fall Tristan Warner (Old Dominion) 4:18
165: Zach Toal (Missouri) dec Shaun'Qae McMurty (Northern Illinois) 6-3
174: Mike Ottinger ( Central Michigan) dec Cody Caldwell (Northern Iowa) 3-1 SV1
184: Phillip Joseph (Eastern Michigan) dec Craig Kelliher (Central Michigan) 5-2
197: Shawn Scott (Northern Illinois) dec Kevin Beazley (Old Dominion) 3-2
285: Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa) dec Matt Tourdot (Old Dominion) 8-3

True 2nd matches
197: Phil Wellington (Ohio) dec Shawn Scott (Northern Illinois) 5-2

True 4th matches
149: Rob Jillard (Northern Illinois) dec Tywan Claxton (Ohio) 5-0