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Southern Oregon grapplers roll at home

The sixth-ranked Southern Oregon University wrestling team kept its home record perfect Thursday night, wrapping up its 38-9 dumping of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical (Ariz.) in a tidy 57 minutes at Bob Riehm Arena.

The Raiders grinded out wins in six of eight contested weight classes and were awarded forfeits in the other two. Top-ranked wrestlers Taylor Johnson (197 pounds) and Brock Gutches came through with a pin and a technical fall, respectively, and Travis Patrick (157) threw in one more win by fall.

SOU, which will face Air Force at 5 p.m. Saturday in Corvallis, improved to 5-2 in duals and 4-0 at home.

Seventh-ranked Jacob Stigall started the night with an 8-4 decision of Gilbert Martinez in the 125-pound match, racking up all of his point in the first period for his eighth win of the season. Trevor Hancock (133) followed with a win, taking down Nick Oliver with 27 seconds left to clinch his 6-3 decision.

After Johnathon Gay (141) dropped a 6-5 decision to Robbie Workman on riding time, Tyler Cowger (157) picked up a 5-4 win over Colin Merkley thanks to a tiebreaking escape with 1:25 remaining. Cowger is now 13-5.

"Despite the score, it was a good dual and there was some good wrestling going on for both sides," SOU coach Mike Ritchey said. "They have a legit style; they wrestle hard and we had to overcome some adversity to pull out some matches, so it was a good test for us."

Patrick led Matt Coultas 11-2 after two rounds and finished him off with 1:09 left, upping his record to 8-7. Gutches is 18-3 overall after his manhandling of Jose Cruz, who fell behind 7-0 after the first minute and was down 22-4 when the match ended with 43 seconds on the clock.

Gutches has notched bonus points in all but three of his wins this season.

"Brock looked really tough again," Ritchey said, "but that's what we expect from him."

Johnson, who is now 4-0 in dual action and 8-4 overall, put an abrupt end to the night with his pin of Troy Kilgore 1:10 into the contest. Three of his four dual wins have been by fall and the other by technical fall.

Garrett Urrutia (165) and ninth-ranked Clayton Burtis (285) were awarded SOU's forfeit victories. Urrutia's recod stands at 8-6 and Burtis' at 7-3.

Johnathan Wiley went home with a pin at 184 pounds for Embry-Riddle's other victory.

In the Eagles' previous visit to Ashland on Nov. 5, 2011, they knocked off the Raiders, who were ranked No. 1 at the time. SOU now leads the all-time series 18-3.