KIRKSVILLE -- The Marshall wrestling team won five of 11 bouts Tuesday during a 50-21 NCMC road loss at third-ranked Kirksville.
Considering that the Owls had three starters out of the line-up, including eight-ranked senior Nick Harper and No. 10 senior Austin Stickels, it was a fairly good accounting for them against the defending Class 2 state champions.
The Tigers came in with nine top-12 grapplers, seven of whom saw mat time. The only tilt between ranked opponents came in the final match, where Marshall won behind No. 9 senior Berry Benedick (285 pounds), over 11th-ranked junior Austin Dovin.
The closest there came to an upset was at 170, where No. 7 Kirksville sophomore Kylan Easley nipped junior T.J. Fox, 2-0.
The Owls also got wins from freshman Austin Ballard (106) and junior Tyler Morrison (160) by fall, eighth-ranked freshman Aaron Sims (132) by a 10-5 count and junior Chris Stephenson (145) with a 7-2 decision.
The Tigers (17-2, 5-0 NCMC) got 18 free points by default. Marshall head coach Gregg Woodring estimated that had his missing three starters been in the line-up, the final margin may have been 35-27. A year ago, Kirksville won 68-12.
"The guys wrestled hard and picked up some good wins over tough wrestlers," Woodring said. "I'm very proud of them."
The Owls (7-9, 1-3) get back to tournament action Saturday at Fulton.