The Buena Vista wrestling team hung tough as No. 13 Loras visited Siebens Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon, but the Duhawks took advantage of early bonus points and were able to squeak out a few narrow victories along the way to get past the Beavers in the season opener for both sides, 32-6.
Loras won the first five matches, including a technical fall at 125 and a pin at 157. Jack Kyle came up just short for the Beavers at 149, as he just ran out of time late in his 5-4 loss. That marked the third straight defeat by decision for BVU in the contest.
Senior Brad Kerkhoff picked up his 60th career win in thrilling fashion to get the Beavers on the board at 165 pounds. He trailed nearly the entire match before recording an escape and a late takedown in the third period for a 6-4 lead. He then needed to ride his opponent out for the final 25-plus seconds to avoid overtime, and did so to bring the voisterous crowd alive. Fellow senior Shane Vaughan looked to feed off that energy, but he came up just short. He was in front 5-4 late but a reversal by Sam Schuler in the final 30 seconds put him in front with riding time advantage. Vaughan did get an escape in the final seconds but it was too-little-too late in a 7-6 loss.
Dylan Huntoon looked strong in his 184-pound match, coming out with three first period takedowns and held on from there for a 7-3 triumph.
BVU was open at 197 pounds before Don Phillips came up on the short end of another nail-biter, falling at 285 pounds, 3-2.
The Duhawks are now 1-0 on the year (1-0 A-R-C) while the Beavers fall to 0-1 (0-1 A-R-C). Buena Vista is off until Saturday, November 10, when it travels to Mitchell, S.D. to take part in the Dakota Wesleyan Open.