After losing a close 27-16 decision to the ASU wrestling team in Tempe last year, GCU wanted another shot at the Sun Devils.
On Saturday, the Lopes (0-2) got that opportunity on their home turf and took a step backward as redshirt sophomore Kevin Radford and the Sun Devils (5-1, 1-0 Pac-12) knocked off their inter-city rivals 42-6.
Radford’s match at 184 pounds against senior Brett Sanchez quickly turned into the most intriguing match of the afternoon after Sanchez hurled Radford off the mat after the whistle.
The rest of the match resulted in an 11-3 major victory for Radford.
“He (Sanchez) kept pushing my face down and doing a lot of things,” Radford said.
Radford was emotional after picking up the win and he knew the Lopes were anxious for the rematch.
“I’ve read all the message boards and forums saying they were better than us and wanted a rematch,” Radford said. “After today, they are just the little brother down the road.”
The Sun Devils posted seven straight victories — including Radford’s — to jump out to a 33-0 advantage.
Redshirt sophomore Dalton Miller picked up a solid win over defending Division II national champion Kyle McCrite in the 125-pound weight class, earning praise from ASU coach Shawn Charles.
“Dalton had one of the more impressive victories of the day, especially over a defending national champion,” Charles said.
Redshirt senior Jake Meredith, redshirt sophomore Shane McGough and freshman Parker Madl all earned pins against the Lopes.
The lone defeat for the Sun Devils came in the heavyweight division, as redshirt senior Levi Cooper was pinned by ‘Lopes junior transfer Tyrell Fortune, who remained undefeated on the season.
“Levi was just put into a bad position for a heavyweight,” Charles said. “He was in control until then.”
ASU picks up first conference win
In the earlier dual, the Sun Devils knocked off conference foe CSU Bakersfield 29-10 for ASU’s first Pac-12 victory of the season.
Like in the GCU dual, the Sun Devils (5-1, 1-0 Pac-12) rattled off seven straight victories, highlighted by pins from Cooper and senior Jake Meredith.
“I just went out there and wrestled like I always do,” Meredith said.
Meredith, along with redshirt sophomore Nathan Hoffer and redshirt freshman Blake Stauffer, remained undefeated on the season with victories over the Roadrunners (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12).
Radford, Madl, and freshman Codey Combs also picked up wins for the Sun Devils, who improved to 23-10-1 all-time against CSU Bakersfield.
“I’m happy with this result, especially since it was in our conference,” Charles said. “I have to give credit to my assistant coaches and our guys for making this happen.”
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