USA Wrestling Road comeback gives ...

Road comeback gives Appalachian State third-straight SoCon title

By Appalachian State wrestling | Feb. 04, 2018, 6:06 p.m. (ET)

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A memorable comeback at Chattanooga has propelled Appalachian State's wrestling team to another Southern Conference championship.
 
Match-ending wins from Randall Diabe and Cary Miller lifted App State to an 18-16 road victory that secures at least a share of a third straight SoCon title for the Mountaineers (8-3, 6-0). They face Duke at Varsity Gym on Thursday before wrapping up their SoCon schedule at The Citadel (1-9, 0-4) on Feb. 18.
 
"I'm so proud of our guys," App State coach JohnMark Bentley said. "It was a match that kind of went back and forth, back and forth. There were a lot of matches that I thought we were favored in that we came out on the short end, but we had some guys really step up, and I'd say their coaching staff would say the same.
 
"It was a great atmosphere here and a great dual. I can't say enough about our guys responding and finding a way to win when our back was against the wall."

An early pin against the reigning SoCon champion from redshirt freshman Codi Russell, a 7-4 decision from junior Angel Najar and a 4-2 decision via a sudden-victory takedown from senior Forrest Przybysz occurred before Chattanooga (6-7, 4-1) took a 16-12 lead into the final two matches.
 
Diabe claimed a 3-2 decision against Scottie Boykin at 197 pounds before Miller earned a 7-5 decision against Connor Talley in the heavyweight division to erase a 16-15 deficit.
 
Trailing 1-0 at the start of the third period, Diabe improved to 6-0 in SoCon dual meets by breaking a 1-1 tie on a takedown with 55 seconds left and defeating the 14th-ranked Boykin.
 
"Randall Diabe really just put the team on his back and found a way to get that done," Bentley said.

After Diabe's win, Miller improved to 16-7 overall and 5-1 in SoCon action by pulling out the clinching victory against Tolley. The match was tied at 3-3 after one period, but Miller had a decisive riding-time advantage when he took a 6-3 lead into the final period. Tolley used a late takedown to cut his deficit in half.

Early in the dual meet, App State took a 6-3 lead thanks to Russell's pin at 133 pounds. Russell trailed 4-1 against Chris Debien, the reigning SoCon champ at that weight, before surging ahead 7-4 and then pinning Debien at the 4:12 mark.
 
Najar trailed in his match at 157 pounds before delivering a takedown to claim a 5-4 edge entering the third period against Jake Adcock, and Najar increased his lead with a takedown in the final 10 seconds.
 
The Mountaineers were behind 13-9 when Przybysz took the mat at 174 against Justin Lampe, who suffered 2-0 and 1-0 losses in their head-to-head matchups at 165 last season.
 
Przybysz trailed 2-1 before tying the match with a second-period escape, and the score remained the same until he executed a sudden-victory takedown late in the first overtime period. The result was confirmed after a video review.
 
Przybysz joined Diabe and Najar in remaining unbeaten in SoCon duals. His close win helped the Mountaineers claim a second straight dramatic victory against the Mocs, who lost 17-16 in Boone via a secondary tiebreaker last year. Three of their last four dual meets have been decided by two points or less.
 
App State returns to action Thursday with its 6:30 p.m. nonconference dual against Duke. Wrestling tickets can be purchased by calling the Appalachian State ticket office at 828-262-2079 or by going online to the App State Ticket Central link.

App State 18, Chattanooga 16
 
125: Alonzo Allen (UTC) def. De'Andre Swinson-Barr (APP), 3-1 dec. (0-3)
133: Codi Russell (APP) def. Chris Debien (UTC), fall, 4:12 (6-3)
141: Michael Pongracz (UTC) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 9-1 maj. dec. (6-7)
149: Roman Boylen (UTC) def. Gavin Londoff (APP), 4-2 dec. (SV) (6-10)
157: Angel Najar (APP) def. Jake Adcock (UTC), 7-4 dec. (9-10)
165: Chad Pyke (UTC) def. Laken Cook (APP), 8-5 dec. (9-13)
174: Forrest Przybysz (APP) def. Justin Lampe (UTC), 4-2 dec. (SV) (12-13)
184: Bryce Carr (UTC) def. Alan Clothier (APP), 9-4 dec. (12-16)
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Scottie Boykin (UTC), 3-2 dec. (15-16)
285: Cary Miller (APP) def. Connor Tolley (UTC), 7-5 dec. (18-16)