Tahlequah Daily Press

March 21, 2014

Oklahoma’s Brewer wins Bedlam matchup early in NCAA tournament


— OKLAHOMA CITY — Cody Brewer had never beaten Oklahoma State’s Jon Morrison. In six attempts the sophomore from Oklahoma had walked off the wrestling match after watching Morrison getting his hand raised in victory.

Brewer finally decided enough was enough when he met up with Morrison in the second round of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. Despite Morrison being seeded No. 4 in the 133-pound division, Brewer pinned him at the 2:45 mark to advance to today’s quarterfinal action at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“All my family is here and they get to watch,” Brewer said. “That’s exciting. Having my family here and having more fans, it really means a lot to me that I can come out and wrestle as hard as I can. For my family, this is why I’m doing it.

“It was going to be a scrap out there. He’s beaten me six time before that. You know you’re a little nervous before you come in.”

Brewer said it was subtle change in his attitude that was difference for him in coming away with the win.

“I started smiling before every match,” Brewer said. “It’s been working. I don’t know what it is, but I’ve been having fun. Best tournament of the year. This is the time to have the most fun.”

For much of the match, Brewer and Morrison had battled to a stand still. But with 30 seconds left in the first period, Morrison tried to attack Brewer’s ankle. Brewer maneuvered himself on the side of Morrison and was able to get him in a cradle.

From that point, Brewer said he knew it was over. He rolled Morrison onto his back and held on for dear life until the referee slapped the mat giving him the win.

“When you work so hard at something like that, you eventually have to try it in big matches,” Brewer said. “Once I got the cradle, I held as hard as I could. I tried to end it as quickly as I could. Just ’cause I know he’s a good wrestler and he’s going to wrestle the whole time.”

Brewer will now face No. 5 seed Tyler Graff of Wisconsin in the morning session with a spot in the semifinals on the line. While it will nearly be impossible to match the drama of beating a rival from Oklahoma State, Brewer said he has to make sure he hasn’t peaked yet.

“Two more until I get to the finals,” Brewer said. “I’m just looking to keep that momentum and wrestle as hard as I can and have fun. That’s what this tournament is about, having fun. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the next one that I can beat they got.”