Duke opened its new home at Card Gymnasium with a bang, thwarting Appalachian State 24-15. Prior to this season, the Blue Devils competed at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The match had a little extra meaning for Duke (3-5), which was dismantled by the Mountaineers (6-4) last season 29-6.
“Last year those guys really took it to us,” head coach Glen Lanham said in a press release.
Things looked glum early for the Blue Devils, when redshirt freshman Michael Chapman lost a decision and Appalachian State’s Dominic Parisi pinned redshirt senior Peter Terrezza, giving the Mountaineers a 9-3 lead.
In between those bouts, Brian Self tied the match at three apiece before Parisi’s pin put the Mountaineers back up six.
“[Brian] Self is a warrior,” Lanham said.
After the pin, though, the Blue Devils stole the show.
Redshirt freshman Marcus Cain and redshirt sophomore Immanuel Kerr-Brown posted back-to-back major decisions to push Duke ahead 17-9.
Kerr-Brown’s performance was instrumental in giving the Blue Devils the momentum needed to carry the team to the victory. A big takedown of Appalachian State’s Aaron Scott in the waning seconds of the match gave Kerr-Brown an 11-2 lead and secured a major decision for him.
“I thought our guys wrestled hard and that’s all that we can ask,” Lanham said. “I’m fired up and excited about that we wrestled hard.”