WAVERLY, Iowa -- Eric Keller made his solo debut as Wartburg's head coach Wednesday as the Knights thumped Simpson 48-4, extending their Iowa Conference win streak to 166.
"I miss my partner by the water cooler," said Keller, who had been co-head coach with the legendary Jim Miller during Wartburg's run to a third consecutive NCAA Division III championship, its 10th overall, in 2012-13.
After Simpson forfeited at the opening weights, Wartburg racked up four pins and three major decisions with a young lineup in addition to former national champion Landon Williams and All-American Ryan Fank.
"We had a lot of young guys out there," Keller said. "I told them, 'Here's your opportunity. You have to make the most of it.'"
Wartburg freshman Jace Lopez, a former Colorado high school state champion, dominated Simpson senior Jeff Sand at 141 with a 7-0 opening period en route to a 15-3 major decision.