Top-Ranked Nittany Lion Wrestlers Shut-Out Rider 48-0 in Home Finale
Feb. 17, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 1 nationally in Intermat's Tournament Power Index, closed out the home portion of its schedule with a 48-0 shut-out win over visiting Rider. Seniors Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) and Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) thrilled a sold out SRO crowd of over 6,500 with big wins in their final home appearances.
All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, opened up the dual by pinning Bronc Patrick Skinner, getting the fall at the 3:48 mark. Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 14 nationally at 133, then rolled to a 19-5 major with 3:19 in riding time over Mike Shupin.
Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), wrestling for the final time in Rec Hall, then thrilled over 6,000 fans in a sold out Rec Hall by getting a pin in his final appearance in front of the home crowd. Pearsall completed a cradle and pinned Rob Cigna at the 2:01 mark. Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 149, rolled to a 12-4 major over Curt Delia. Brother Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 157, posted a 5-2 win over Rider's Zac Cibula to give the Nittany Lions a 23-0 lead at intermission.
Junior All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, then pinned No. 20 Ramon Santiago in the only bout pitting ranked wrestlers against each other. Taylor got the fall early in the second period, getting a pin at the 3:48 mark. Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 7 at 174, then matched Taylor, getting a fall of his own. Brown pinned Rider junior James Brundage at the 4:06 mark.
Junior All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, kept the pin parade going, picking up yet another first period pin. This one, over Rider freshman Ryan Wolfe at the 2:38 mark to put Penn State up 41-0. Three-time All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 197, then made his final appearance in Rec Hall count, rolling to a 12-4 major (with 4:44 in riding time) over Donald McNeil. Sophomore heavyweight Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 12 nationally, then secured the shut-out with a dominating 3-0 decision (including 3:46) in riding time over Greg Velasco.
The Nittany Lions compiled a lop-sided 30-1 margin in takedowns and rolled up 18 bonus points thanks to five pins and three majors. Ruth and Wright remain undefeated on the year, checking in at 24-0 and 23-0 respectively while Taylor improves to 22-1. The shut-out was Penn State's fourth of the year, marking the first time in Nittany Lion history the team has logged four shut-outs in one season. The blanking was the eighth under Sanderson in this, his fourth year at the helm of the program. Penn State moves to 12-1 on the year (having finished its Big Ten slate with a 7-1 mark). Rider falls to 10-7.
Penn State ends its dual meet season next Sunday with a road trip to Rutgers. The Lions and Scarlet Knights tangle at 1 p.m. on Feb. 24. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2012-13 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
133: Red-shirt freshman Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.), ranked No. 14 nationally at 133, took on Bronc Mike Shupin. Conaway got in on an early single leg but Morris was able to counter and force a stalemate at the 1:45 mark. Conaway notched his takedown using a quick duck-under at the 1:00 mark. Shupin escaped at period's end and Conaway led 2-1 after one period. Shupin chose down to start the second, quickly escaped, but was immediately taken down by Conaway. Conaway let the Bronc loose and then rolled through a third takedown to up his lead to 6-3. Another takedown and two near fall points gave Conaway a 10-4 lead after two periods. Conaway chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to an 11-4 lead. Shupin got in on a single and Conaway forced a stalemate. The Lion then used a low single after the reset to notch another takedown and led 13-4 with 1:10 on the clock. Conaway added another takedown and then turned Shupin for three near fall points and an 18-5 lead with :20 left. Conaway picked up the bonus point with 3:19 in riding time and rolled to the 19-5 major.
141: Senior Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.), wrestling in his final home dual as a Nittany Lion, met Robert Cigna at 141. Pearsall notched a quick takedown and then spent the next minute working his way to finishing off a cradle. Pearsall then thrilled the SRO Rec Hall sell-out one final time, notching the pin at the 2:01 mark and ending his Rec Hall career in style.
149: Sophomore Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 12 at 149, met Rider's Curt Delia. Alton nearly booked a quick pin of his own, catching Delia in a shoulder throw and turning him to his back for a near fall. Delia was able to fight off his back but the four-point move put Alton up 4-0 less than a minute into the bout. Delia managed an escape but Alton was able to turn a single leg into another takedown and led 6-2 with :50 on the clock. The duo battled evenly for the rest of the period and Alton led 6-2 after one period. The Lion sophomore chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 7-2 lead. The escape was the lone scoring of the period and the Lion led by five heading into third period. Delia chose down to start the third period but Alton was able to maintain control long enough to build up 1:44 in riding time. Alton then added another takedown and led 9-4 with 1:10 after a Delia escape. Alton tacked on one more takedown and with a ride out posted the 12-4 major (with 2:41 in riding time).
157: All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 5 at 157, took on Bronc senior Zac Cibula. The duo battled evenly for the first minute-plus until Alton worked in on a high double. But Cibula was able to force a reset and action resumed in the center circle at the 1:40 mark. The Lion sophomore then turned a swift single leg into a takedown and the first score of the bout, taking a 2-1 lead after a Cibula escape. The Lion blew through a high double at the :05 mark, tacking on late takedown to lead 4-1 after one period. Alton chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. Alton continued to press the Bronc, forcing the action in the middle of the mat. But Cibula was able to fight off Alton's efforts and the Lion carried a 5-1 lead into the third period. Cibula chose down to start the third and escaped to a 5-2 lead. Alton was unable to break through the Bronc's defense but still walked away with the 5-2 win, putting Penn State up 23-0 at intermission.
165: In the lone match-up between ranked wrestlers, All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 2 at 165, met No. 20 Ramon Santiago. Santiago got the bout's first takedown, using a fast low double to take a quick lead. But Taylor deftly worked his way to a reversal and tied the bout at 2-2 with 2:14 on the clock. The Lion junior then put together a strong ride, forcing the ranked Bronc into a stall warning. Taylor nearly locked a cradle and forced Santiago into another stall and led 3-2 after one period. Santiago chose down to start the second period and Taylor nearly turned him to his back for a pin. The Bronc was able to roll out of trouble once, but Taylor turned his shoulders to the mat and got the fall at the 3:48 mark, putting Penn State up 29-0.
174: Sophomore Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 7 at 174, took on James Brundage. Brown wasted no time gaining control, picking up a quick takedown on the edge of the mat just :15 into the bout. Brundage escaped and worked his way in on a single, but Brown fought off the move and then gained control himself, working around for another takedown and a 4-1 lead. Brown locked his hands while trying to turn Brundage and led 4-3 after the Bronc escaped with :25 on the clock. Brown would not be denied a final takedown, using a fast low double and a ride out to lead 6-3 after one period. Brown chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped. The Utah-native then notched another takedown to lead 9-3 with 1:25 on the clock. Brown then turned his control into a pin, turning Brundage to his back and getting the pin (4:06) to put the Lions up 35-0.
184: All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, battled Bronc freshman Ryan Wolfe. Ruth gained quick control of the bout, taking Wolfe down and leading 2-1 after cutting the Bronc loose less than :15 into action. Ruth tacked on another takedown and cut before rolling through a low double for a third takedown and a 6-2 lead with 1:01 on the clock. He then worked himself into control of Wolfe's shoulders, turning the Bronc to his back for another first period pin, this one at the 2:38 mark.
197: Wrestling in his final home dual meet, All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 197, faced off against Rider's Donald McNeil. Wright wasted no time taking the lead in his Rec Hall swan song, rolling through a takedown to lead 2-0 less than :10 in. Wright added a second takedown and then went to work on offense. The Lion senior then put together a strong ride, maintaining control for nearly 2:00 while working to turn McNeil to his back. McNeil was hit for stalling twice and led 5-2 after McNeil escaped at the :10 mark. Wright chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 6-2 lead. Wright then blew through another takedown and upped his lead to 8-2 with 1:00 left in the middle stanza. Wright picked up another stall point and carried a 9-2 lead with a clinched bonus point into the third period. McNeil chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 9-3 score. Wright countered a McNeil double and picked up his fourth takedown to lead 11-3 with 1:03 left in the match. McNeil escaped as the bout ended but 4:44 in riding time gave Wright a 12-4 major in his final home bout.
285: Sophomore Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 12 nationally at 285, took on Rider freshman Greg Velasco. The duo battled through a scoreless two-minutes plus with neither man finding an opening to score. Lawson looked to score late in the period, but Velasco was able to step back from his shots and the bout moved to the second period tied 0-0. Velasco chose down to start the second period but Lawson was able to break the Bronc down and maintain his offensive position. Lawson then gained control of Velasco's arm and looked to turn him for back points, but Velasco bellied out with :40 left in the period. The strong ride-out kept things scoreless and Lawson chose down to start the third. The ranked Lion sophomore then reversed Velasco to lead 2-0 with over 2:00 in riding time. Lawson spent the rest of the period trying to turn Velasco to no avail. Still, the dominating performance on top gave the Lion sophomore a 3-0 win with 3:46 in riding time.