The Boise State wrestlers and coaches – ranked eighth in the nation – sat in a stunned stupor as Cason Eldridge battled the Broncos heavyweight competitor Sam Zylstra, propelling the Wolverines to the upset win.
Eldridge, who wrestles at 184 pounds, grappled with Zylstra in order for UVU to avoid forfeiting the match. Although Zylstra rallied in the third period to win the match on a late takedown, the heroics of Eldridge allowed the Wolverines to hold on to their slim lead and win the dual.
“It was a great win for our program,” said UVU coach Greg Williams. “First and foremost our guys came in with the mentality to go out and wrestle the best they could. Anytime you go out and beat a team ranked as high as Boise is, it is a huge win for your program.”
The Wolverines scored several key victories including Brad Darrington’s upset of eleventh-ranked Nate Lee at 174 pounds. Darrington imposed his physical prominence early in the match and held on for the come-from-behind win. Trailing 6-5 late in the third period, Darrington scored a takedown and reversed the riding time just enough to escape with a 7-6 upset.
After securing the win, an emotionally charged Darrington leapt into the arms of Williams and momentum had officially swung in favor of the Wolverines. Prior to Darrington’s big win, UVU’s Jeb Clark emphatically pinned his opponent Michael Cuthbertson to give the Wolverines a 16-11 lead.
Freshman Josh Wood knocked off Levi Holt at 197 pounds and the Wolverines went on to upset the Broncos. Other Wolverines that recorded wins were Ben Kjar and Flint Ray. UVU improved to 8-3 on the season and 2-1 in the Western Wrestling Conference.
Earlier this season the Wolverines knocked off Northern Iowa, a team that has won 24 consecutive conference titles, 19-16. UNI was chosen as the preseason favorite to win the Western Wrestling Conference and UVU knocked them off in the first ever meeting between the two schools. Also, last week UVU went toe-to-toe with the number-one ranked Iowa Hawkeyes, losing 38-0, but coming close to winning several matches.