Oregon Wrestling Comes Back to Win Civil War

Dec. 13, 2002

EUGENE - In its first dual meet of the season, the Oregon wrestling team came back from a 12-point deficit to defeat the Oregon State Beavers, 18-15, in front of 939 people at McArthur Court. The victory over the Beavers (0-1, 0-1) was the second in a row for the Ducks (1-0, 1-0) in the series, dating back to last season.

The turning point of the meet came in the seventh match at 125. Down 15-3 with only four matches remaining, Oregon's Martin Mitchell, a sophomore from Tonasket, Wash., matched up with Brett Phillips, a freshman from Turner, Ore.

'Someone was going to have to step up big,' Mitchell said.

That's exactly what Mitchell did. The sophomore scored a takedown 46 seconds into the match, then kept control and slowly executed a move that resulted in a pin at the 2:28 mark. Mitchell scored six important points for the Ducks, leading the way for the Oregon comeback. The Ducks went on to win the final three matches of the meet, all by decisions, to get the win.

'It definitely got the ball rolling for us,' Mitchell said. 'I was patient, waited for the opportunity to happen and then took advantage of it.'

The Beavers jumped out to the early lead by winning five of the first six matches. At the end of the meet, the two teams each won five matches, with Mitchell's pin being the difference.

'In this dual meet, it's never easy,' head coach Chuck Kearney said. 'Oregon State wrestled hard. They wrestled tough.'

The meet began at 157, with Oregon State's Jeremy Larson defeating Chet McBee in overtime, 9-7. The match see-sawed back and forth, with the score being tied at the end of each period. Larson scored a takedown at the 0:39 mark in overtime to pick up the win and the first three points of the meet.

At 165, Oregon State picked up another three points as Matt Ellis defeated Luke Larwin, 3-1, in a battle of sophomores. Ellis scored a takedown near the end of the first period and was able to hold on for the mild upset.

'Larwin's still making some adjustments and trying to hit his stride,' Kearney said. 'Hopefully, he'll hit it tomorrow.'

No. 7-ranked Shane Webster scored Oregon's first three points of the night with an 8-4 decision over Jake Huffman. Huffman had defeated Webster the previous two times the pair had matched up, but the highly-ranked sophomore earned a bit of revenge with the four-point victory.

Oregon State then won the next three matches at 184, 197 and heavyweight, respectively, to get the 12-point advantage.

Following Mitchell's victory, junior Jason Harless and senior Casey Hunt each won their matches setting up the final match of the evening. With the score tied at 15, senior Tony Overstake, the reigning Pac-10 champion at 157, matched up with freshman Tony Hook.

'Tony's been the heart and soul of this program for the last few years,' Kearney said. 'I was pretty confident that he could pull out the win.'

Hook scored the first two points of the match, but Overstake quickly regained control to take a 3-2 lead after one period. Overstake dominated the remainder of the match, winning 9-3 and securing the victory for the Ducks.

Oregon gets another strong test Saturday against the No. 12-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers. The meet will take place at 7 p.m. at McArthur Court.

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