No. 3 Penn State Controls No. 20 Illinois 23-13 in Big Ten Wrestling Action
Feb. 11, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The third-ranked Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, with head coach Cael Sanderson at the helm, controlled No. 20 Illinois 23-13 in a Big Ten dual meet in Rec Hall. Sophomore All-American Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa) got the dual's signature win with a key victory at 133.
The dual began at heavyweight where Nittany Lion junior Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio), ranked No. 6, downed Pat Walker 5-0 to put Penn State up early. True freshman Nate Morgan (McCook, Neb.) picked up his first Penn State dual meet win with a 6-5 victory at 125 over Logan Arlis. Long, ranked No. 9 at 133, thrilled a packed Rec Hall crowd with a 9-6 win over No. 7 B.J. Futrell at 133 to put the Lions up 9-0. Illinois senior Jimmy Kennedy, ranked No. 4 at 141, nipped Nittany Lion true freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 7, 5-3 at 149 in a marquee match-up, cutting Penn State's lead to 9-3. But two-time Penn State All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 5, sent Penn State into the halftime break with momentum after a lop-sided 5-0 win over Illinois' Eric Terrazas
Red-shirt freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) remained undefeated with a 26-10 dismantling of Illinois' Jackson Morse. Taylor, ranked No. 3, picked up the tech fall over Morse, who had 19 wins entering the bout, at the 6:21 mark. Taylor's win improves him to 29-0 on the year with 28 bonus point wins (12 tech falls, seven pins, nine majors). Illinois' Conrad Polz grabbed a hard-fought 10-5 win over Lion sophomore Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) at 165 to Penn State's lead to 17-6. Red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 174, then pinned Ben Friedl at the 4:56 mark to put Penn State up 23-6. Ruth improved to 27-1 with 11 pins with the victory. Sophomore Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 184, had a win in hand at 184, but a contested call at the buzzer gave Illinois' Tony Dellago a reversal with no time on the clock and an 8-7 upset win. Illinois tacked on a 15-6 major from Joe Barczak over freshman Nick Ruggear (Oxford, Ill.) at 197 to give Penn State the 23-13 final.
Tonight's dual meet, a BigTenNetwork.com StudentU production, will air on the Big Ten Network tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 8 a.m. The Nittany Lions improve to 16-1, 5-1 in the Big Ten while Illinois falls to 4-5-1, 2-4-1 in conference action. Penn State's 16 dual wins is most since team went 18-3 in 1998. The crowd of 5,117 is Penn State's fifth 5,000-plus crowd of the year in six home events. Illinois owned an 18-17 edge in takedowns, with seven of them coming at 197. The Nittany Lions won six of the dual's ten bouts and tacked on five bonus points off a pin and a tech fall. Illinois had one major for one bonus point.
Penn State returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 13, when it visits No. 5 Minnesota in a 3 p.m. (Eastern) dual in Minneapolis. The Big Ten Network production is a same day tape delay broadcast, airing Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. and again on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. Tickets are selling fast for Penn State's dual meet finale in Rec Hall (Feb. 18 vs. Wisconsin) but are still available. Fans wishing to purchase tickets can place their orders by calling 814-865-5555 or visit the Bryce Jordan Center ticket office. The box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Ticket pricing is $8 for adults and $5 for youth, and there will be a limit of eight tickets per order. Group sales are also available. The 2010-11 Penn State wrestling season is presented by the Family Clothesline. All Penn State events will once again air live on Forever Broadcasting's WRSC (1390 AM) and WSQV (92.1 FM). All radio broadcasts are streamed live at GoPSUsports.com as part of the All-Access package. The 2010-11 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
125: True freshman Nate Morgan (McCook, Neb.) stepped in at 125 for Penn State to battle Illinois' Logan Arlis. Morgan gained control of Arlis' left ankle with 1:58 on the clock and began scrambling for a go-ahead takedown. The Nittany Lion freshman adjusted, wrapped his arms around the Illini and tripped him to the mat for a 2-0 lead with 1:33 on the clock. Arlis worked his way loose for an escape and then gained control of his shoulders, looking for a takedown. But Morgan deftly stepped over the Illini and got the takedown himself with an outstanding move to take a 4-1 lead with :30 left. The Nittany Lion rookie then maintained control of Arlis for a ride-out to lead 4-1 after the opening period. Arlis chose down to start the second period and quickly reversed Morgan to cut the lead to 4-3. Arlis put together a strong ride, maintaining control of Morgan for the rest of the period. Morgan led 4-3, but Arlis had 1:03 in riding time. Morgan chose down to start the third period but once again, could not work free of Arlis' ride. Morgan got hit with a first stall warning at the 1:40 mark and then worked his way to his feet, turning an Arils throw attempt into a reversal and a 6-3 lead with 1:10 on the clock. Morgan managed to control Arlis until the :36 mark and an Arlis escape cut the lead to 6-4 with Arlis having the time point. Morgan spent the last :30 fighting off an Arlis scoring attempt and killed the clock. Morgan's 6-5 win, his first dual meet win as a Nittany Lion, put Penn State up 6-0.
133: Sophomore All-American Andrew Long (Creston, Iowa), ranked No. 9 at 133, battled No. 7 B.J. Futrell of Illinois in one of the dual's most anticipated match-ups. Long fought off a flurry of early Futrell scoring attempts, keeping the bout scoreless with solid defense on the edge of the mat. Long countered a Futrell shot and took a 2-0 lead with a very nice counter takedown at the 0:59 mark. Long then controlled the fourth-ranked Illini form the top for the remainder of the period and led 2-0 with :59 in time after one stanza. Long chose down to start the middle period and steadily worked his way to his feet for an escape and a 3-0 lead. Futrell caught Long with a high double and took him to the mat for a takedown, nearly getting a near fall in the process. Long escaped to a 4-2 lead with :48 on the clock but Futrell quickly took him down again and added two back points to lead 6-4 after two periods. Leading 6-4, Futrell chose neutral to start the third. Riding time was not an issue at this point. Long nearly tied the bout with a low single at the 1:24 mark, but Futrell was able to work his way out of bounds. Long was relentless, however, and tripped the Illini to his back for a takedown and three near fall points to lead 9-6 with 1:00 on the clock. Long then dominated the action from the top, controlling Futrell for the rest of the period and rolling on to the 9-6 win.
141: In another marquee bout, Nittany Lion true freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) took on Illinois senior Jimmy Kennedy at 141. Alton was ranked No. 7 and Kennedy sat at No. 4. The top-ten match-up began with Alton trying to throw Kennedy to his back for a pin. But Kennedy fought off the move and countered the throw attempt for a takedown of his own at the 2:23 mark. Alton worked his way to an escaped after a :42 Kennedy ride to cut the lead to 2-1. The duo battled evenly for the remainder of the period and Kennedy led by one after 3:00 of action. Kennedy chose down to start the second stanza and escaped to a 3-1 lead with 1:38 on the clock. Alton picked up a stall warning at the 1:10 mark as Kennedy's offensive pressure was forcing the Lion to the edge of the mat. Down 3-1, Alton chose down to start the third period. The Illini senior put together a strong ride, keeping control of the Penn State true freshman long enough to build up a minute-plus in riding time. Alton was not able to escape and Kennedy assured himself the riding time point. But Alton reversed the Illini and tied the match at 3-3 with :20 left. Kennedy had the time point so Alton cut him loose and began working for a final takedown. But Kennedy was able to kill the clock and escaped with a 5-3 win, cutting Penn State's lead to 9-3.
149: Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.), ranked No. 5 at 149, met Illinois' Eric Terrazas, who was ranked among the nation's top 20 prior to this week. The duo battled evenly for over a minute, with Molinaro forcing the tempo. Molinaro's steady offense led to a high single into a double leg takedown with :45 left in the period. A short ride out gave the Nittany Lion a 2-0 lead with :45 in time after one period. Molinaro chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. The Lion junior forced Terrazas to the outside circle for the full period but could not get a takedown and led 3-0 after two periods. Terrazas chose neutral to start the third period. Molinaro continued to shoot Terrazas into a defensive position and finally picked up a takedown with :10 left. The 5-0 win put Penn State up 12-3 heading into the break.
157: Red-shirt freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 3 at 157, met Illinois' freshman Jackson Morse. Taylor wasted no time in taking a 2-0 lead, getting a takedown less than :30 into the bout. Morse, who had a 19-8 record coming into the bout escaped and then took Taylor down, nearly pinning the Lion freshman. But Taylor rolled through the move, gave up the takedown to briefly trail 3-2, and then escaped to a 3-3 tie. The Lion freshman then used a low single right away to retake the lead, 5-3, with 1:20 on the clock. Taylor let Morse escape, used another low single for a takedown and led 7-5 after cutting him loose. Putting on a clinic, Taylor went on to add another takedown but after the next cut, Morse managed a takedown of his own to cut Taylor's lead to 9-8 with :40 left. Taylor deftly reversed the Illini to lead 11-8 with :20 left and then added two back points to lead 13-8 heading into the second period. Taylor chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 14-8 lead. But Morse was able to use a high double to take the Lion down again, cutting his lead to 15-10 after a quick Taylor escape. Taylor then tacked on one more takedown and a ride out to lead 17-10 with 1:19 in riding time after two periods. Morse chose down to start the third period and Taylor instantly took him to his back for three near fall points and a 20-10 lead. The Lion freshman adjusted his position and added another three point near fall with 1:12 left to up his lead to 23-10. Taylor then added a final three point near fall to post the 26-10 technical fall at the 6:21 mark.
165: Penn State sophomore Nick Fischer (Unionville, Pa.) to take on Illini sophomore Conrad Polz at 165. Polz took an early 2-1 lead with a takedown a minute in and then countered a solid Fischer shot to take the Lion sophomore down again to lead 4-1. Fischer escaped at the 1:00 mark to cut the lead to 4-2, with action returning to the center circle. Fischer once again got in on Polz's left leg and began scrambling for a takedown at the end of the period. But Polz was able to fight off the scoring attempt just long enough to kill the clock and kept his lead. Trailing 4-2, Fischer chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 4-3 deficit. Polz added a third takedown at the 1:20 mark, moving out to a 6-3 lead. Fischer escaped to a 6-4 deficit with :45 left and began pressuring the Illini backwards. Polz was able to keep Fischer from taking him down and led 6-4 with 1:49 in riding time after two periods. The Illini chose down to start the third stanza and quickly escaped to a 7-4 lead. Fischer engaged Polz in a scramble in the middle of the mat, with each man trying to finish off the takedown. Polz picked up the takedown with :35 and clinched the riding time point, leading 9-4. Fischer escaped with :05 left, but Polz escaped with the 10-5 win.
174: Red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 174, battled Illinois senior Ben Friedl. Ruth used consistent pressure to force Friedl into defense from the get go. The Nittany Lion freshman continued to keep the Illini senior on the outside circle, looking for a chance to score. Ruth forced Friedl into a first stall warning at the 1:00 mark. He then broke through Friedl's defense for a takedown at the :38 mark and rode him out to lead 2-0 after one period. Ruth chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead and then picked up a stall point on a second Friedl stall. The Lion freshman then got a second takedown at the :40 mark to up his lead to 6-0. A third Friedl stall put Ruth up 7-0 with :15 left and the Ruth quickly ended the bout by finishing off a cradle at the :04 mark to get the pin. The fall came at the 4:56 mark and put Penn State up 23-6.
184: Sophomore All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 184, took on Tony Dellago. Wright broke an early scoreless tie with a high throw takedown at the 1:30 mark. But Dellago countered the takedown, nearly pinning Wright and eventually getting the reversal at the 1:00 mark to tie the bout at 2-2. Wright scrambled his way to a 3-2 lead with an escape, but Dellago was able to get a quick takedown on the outside circle with lead 4-3 with :24 on the clock. Dellago was able to hand on to Wright's ankle to kill the clock to lead 4-3 heading into the second period. Wright chose down to start the second stanza and deftly worked his way into a reversal and a 5-4 lead with 1:25 on the clock (Dellago had :36 in riding time). Wright was nearly reversed again by Dellago but this time a potentially dangerous hold stopped the action with 1:08 left in the period and Wright owning control and a 5-4 lead. Wright cut Dellago loose to a 5-5 tie and then began looking for a go-ahead takedown. But Dellago stayed out of reach and action moved to the third period tied 5-5. Dellago chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 6-5 lead with 1:45 on the clock. Wright scrambled for a takedown and Dellago was able to back out of trouble. But the Lion sophomore then used a swift shot at Dellago's midsection to take a 7-6 lead with :32 left. Wright got called for a first stall warning and a reset was called with :23 left with Wright still in control. Dellago scrambled for a reversal and got the contested call at the buzzer, getting an 8-7 win.
197: Penn State true freshman Nick Ruggear (Oxford, Pa.) got the nod at 197 to face Illinois senior Joe Barczak at 197. Barczak got the opening takedown to lead 2-1 after a quick Ruggear escaped and action returned to the center circle. The Illinois senior then got in on another high single and picked up a second takedown to lead 4-1 with :51 on the clock. Ruggear escaped again but Barczak steadily worked his way to another takedown and led 6-3. Ruggear chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped with 1:40 on the clock. Barczak tacked on one more takedown and fought off a late Ruggear shot to lead 8-4 heading into the final period. Barczak chose neutral to start the third period and picked up three more takedowns, clinched the riding time point and rode Ruggear out to post the 15-6 major.