Johny Hendricks led an orange flooded section at the Ford Center in the O-S-U chant, forming every letter in a twisting of body and arms.
Then Hendricks seized an Oklahoma State flag and draped it over his shoulders, taking on the role of some Cowboy Superman, which all season and in the end, he was.
Capturing his team's four month journey in a matter of moments, Hendricks rallied to win a second individual national title Saturday night, the signature moment of OSU's 34th overall NCAA wrestling title and fourth in a row.
"I was having fun, even when I was down, Hendricks said. "I looked at the score and said, 'This is the match to win. You're down by three, this is all or nothing.
"And that's exactly how I saw it. I thought, If I win this, I deserved it.'
Hendricks did win, climbing back from a 7-4 third-period deficit to beat Michigan's Ryan Churella 9-8 on an edge-of-the-mat takedown with four seconds left in the 165-pound final.
And he and the Cowboys deserved it, after turning doubts about their title defense into a no doubt title assault that was wrapped up Friday and completed in a runaway.
OSU finished with 122.5 points, well ahead of runner-up Minnesota's 84 and third-place Oklahoma's 80.5, which lost its only final when Teyon Ware fell to Iowa State's Nate Gallick.
Cowboys 197-pounder Jake Rosholt joined Hendricks atop the champion's stand. The only setback to a crowning Saturday night was heavyweight Steve Mocco's loss to Minnesota's Cole Konrad.
"We had to go through it the tough way to win this championship," said OSU coach John Smith. "Thursday, you have to put yourself in that shape. Then Friday morning, we hit 'em hard.
"We made a statement that we're going after this title with what we did with bonus points, and what we did as a team allowed us to create some momentum that I think carried all the way over to tonight."
Hendricks led 4-2 after the first period, but gave up an escape, then got caught for a four-point move when Churella countered a takedown attempt and stuck Hendricks in a cradle for back points in the final seconds of the second period to fall behind 7-4.
Hendricks escaped to open the third period, then got busy, getting a tying takedown with 40 seconds left.
Questioning whether he could earn a riding-time point against Churella, Hendricks cut the Wolverine loose, giving him an 8-7 lead.
"I had to," Hendricks said. "I'm not that great of a rider. The more time on my feet, the better my odds were. I'm going to win or lose on my feet."
And he did win barely, getting the winning takedown with four seconds remaining.
That's when Hendricks stormed off the mat, joining the Cowboys' fans his fans in celebration.
"I can't remember too many moments that exciting," Smith said. "But that's Johny Hendricks, whether he's on the mat or in the locker room or on the street, he treats you to an experience every time you're around him."
Rosholt won a third national title, beating Penn State's Phil Davis 10-3, then taking his own celebration to the stands and his mom, Tracey.
"I think I thought about that all year," Rosholt said, "being able to win my last match, wrestling here, going out as a national champion and being able to go up there and hug my mom.
"She's been a big, big, solid spot in my life that I've been able to hang on to and go back to for support when things aren't going right. She's always there for me. She's a strong lady."
Ware was bidding to become just the fourth OU wrestler to win three national titles, but couldn't get past his old nemesis in Gallick, losing 3-2 in the 141-pound final.
Gallick had lost to Ware in last year's title matchup, but ran his season record against Ware to 4-0 and his overall record in the series to 8-1. Gallick scored the match's only takedown in the first period.
"It came down to the takedown," Ware said. "That's all he needed. I give all the credit to him. He wrestled tough. I'll see him again though. I'll see him at the next level."Archive ID: 3079473