The Golden Eagles of Clarion were much easier prey for the hungry Tar Heels in the second half of the doubleheader as the Heels took the first three bouts on their way to a 32-10 victory.
Other than Corey Mock, though, redshirt freshman Zac Bennett and redshirt junior Thomas Ferguson were the only other Tar Heels to notch victories against the Hokies. Ferguson came out strong against Matt Epperly, recording a take down and a near fall in the first 20 seconds of the 174-pound bout and never looked back. Epperly won the ACC championship last season in the 165-weight class.
Despite the hot start, coach Mock expected more from Ferguson than the two-point decision he got in the match against the Hokies, and Ferguson admitted that he let himself coast to victory in the first bout. He started his second match with similar intensity but finished off the Golden Eagle with one of his go-to moves.
“I wasn’t expecting the pin at all. I’ve scored a lot of points with that move this year — it’s a roll-through-tilt. I hit it in the first period and saw that he was really close to getting pinned,” Ferguson said.
“Once he’s a little tired and I’m up by a lot of points, he’s not going to care if he gets pinned.”
Senior Danny Lopes gave the team its first major decision of the day when he won his matchup 11-1 in the 141-pound class.
The only three winners from the first match — Ferguson, Mock and Bennett — continued their dominance against Clarion as they each recorded falls. Mock and Bennett had they opponents pinned within the first two minutes.
Redshirt senior Mike Rappo, who has struggled with injuries this season, made his first appearance since Nov. 21. Rappo wrestled in the 149-pound class Saturday, two classes above where he had been competing before missing all of December. Mock expects Rappo to move around weight classes until senior Nick Stabile returns from injury.
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