Sixth-Ranked Penn State Downs No. 15 Lehigh in Home Opener
Nov. 14, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 6 nationally, notched a 21-17 win over No. 15 Lehigh in its home opener in front of over 5,000 fans in a packed Rec Hall. Penn State got five wins, all from talented freshmen, and grabbed the victory thanks to two critical pins.
Penn State, coming off a season-opening a 41-3 win at Bloomsburg two nights earlier, once again sent five freshmen to the mat and once again, all five won. Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) got things started for Penn State with a strong 11-6 win over Lehigh senior Mitch Berger. The Mountain Hawks answered with a major decision from Frank Cagnina to give LU a 4-3 lead. True freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 14 at 141, brought the fans to their feet in his Rec Hall debut with a quick pin at the 1:21 mark.
With All-American Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) still nursing an injury, Lehigh picked up a decision at 149 to cut the Lion lead to 9-7. Red-shirt David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) answered, however, thrilling the crowd with a pin of Lehigh's Sean Bilodeau at the 3:33 mark, sending the Lions into the halftime locker room with a 15-7 lead.
Freshman Jake Kemerer (Greensburg, Pa.) notched a key win, stunning 11th-ranked Brandon Hatchett 3-1 in sudden victory at 165. Kemerer scored on a shot just seconds into the extra period to give the Lions an 18-7 lead. No. 13 Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.) followed with a 7-5 win over talented Austin Meys at 174.
The Lion faithful were stunned at 184, however, as No. 3 Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.) was upset by No. 14 Robert Hamlin 4-3, cutting Penn State's lead to 21-10. Lehigh won again at 197, getting a major from junior Joe Kennedy. The Hawks closed out the dual with a third straight win as No. 1 Zach Rey needed a tie-breaker to down No. 9 Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio). Still, the late flurry was not enough as Penn State downed LU 21-17.
Penn State won the takedown battle 11-8. With each team winning five bouts, Penn State's 6-2 edge in bonus points was the difference for the Lions.
Penn State, under the guidance of head coach Cael Sanderson, will head to the Sprawl and Brawl Duals next Sunday in Binghamton, N.Y. Penn State faces Harvard at 11:30 a.m., West Virginia at 1:15 p.m. and No. 23 Rutgers at 3 p.m. The Nittany Lions' next home dual is on Dec. 12 when Lock Haven comes to town for a 2 p.m. dual. Season tickets for the 2010-11 Penn State wrestling season are on sale now. This year's package features seven home duals (the Nittany Lion Open is not part of the package) and costs only $42 for adults and $28 for youth (18 and under). Fans can place new orders for season tickets by calling Joel Diamond at 814-867-2557. A $5 per order handling fee will be added to new season ticket holders. Single dual tickets will go on sale later this fall. 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.
#6 Penn State 21, #15 Lehigh 17
November 14, 2010 - University Park, Pa.
125: True freshman Frank Martellotti (Pittsburgh, Pa.) took on Lehigh senior Mitch Berger at 125. Martellotti wasted no time taking Berger down, using a low double to score just :10 into the bout. The talented Lion rookie maintained control of Berger, building up more than a minutes worth of riding time and turning him for three back points. Berger escaped at the 1:20 mark, only to fall victim to a strong throw by Martellotti. A quick Berger escape gave Martellotti a 7-2 lead with 1:00 left but the Lion freshman continued to pressure Berger, nearly scoring again. A reset was called with :30 left in the period, forcing action back to the center circle. Berger chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 7-3 deficit with 1:40 left (Martellotti worked his riding time edge up to 1:50). Berger got in on Martellotti's left ankle, trying to notch his first takedown and scrambled to a score at the :40 mark, cutting Martellotti's lead to 7-5 with :34 on the clock. Martellotti escaped to an 8-5 lead and began pressuring Berger to the edge of the mat for the rest of the period. Leading 8-5, Martellotti chose down to start the final period and scrambled his way to a two-point reversal at the 1:25 mark. Berger escaped with 1:16 left, cutting the lead to 10-6. Martellotti continued to pressure the senior Hawk and with :40 left, he worked his way into a low single that forced a stalemate with :17 left in the bout (and the riding time point was assured). Martellotti's strong performance lead to an 11-6 win and a 3-0 Penn State lead.
133: Nittany Lion sophomore Bryan Pearsall (Lititz, Pa.) faced off against LU's Frank Cagnina at 133. Cagnina nearly scored early, working on a scramble in front of the Penn State bench. But Pearsall was able to work his way out of bounds and force a reset with 1:50 left. Cagnina forced another scramble on the Lion logo, but Pearsall was able to once again fight off the move and force another reset, this time with :26 on the clock. After an eventful but scoreless first period, Cagnina chose down to start the second period and quickly reversed Pearsall for a 2-0 lead. Two near fall points, nearly pinning Pearsall, gave the Lehigh grappler a 4-0 lead at the 1:05 mark. Pearsall escaped to a 4-1 deficit and nearly got his first takedown with a strong low double. But Cagnina was able to back out of bounds to keep his lead and force a reset with :38 left in the second period. Pearsall fought off a late Cagnina shot and trailed 4-1 heading into the final stanza. Pearsall chose down to start the final period and gave up two near fall points while trying to escape, falling behind 6-1. Pearsall escaped to a 6-2 deficit with 1:15 left and was taken down with 1:00 left, falling behind 8-3 after a quick escape. Cagnina was scrambling for another takedown to secure a major and countered a Pearsall shot with :14 left. Pearsall, needing an escape to avoid the major (Cagnina had the riding time point), gave up a point on two cautions. Cagnina posted the 12-3 major, giving LU a 4-3 lead.
141: True freshman Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 14 nationally at 141, met Lehigh's Joey Dutton. Alton wasted no time in thrilling a capacity Rec Hall crowd, getting a quick takedown. But Dutton reversed Alton and the Lion rookie lead 3-2 after a quick escape. Alton then quickly worked his arms around Dutton's shoulders, tossed the Lehigh wrestler to the mat and brought the Penn State faithful to their feet with a pin at the 1:21 mark. It was Alton's second straight pin of the weekend.
149: Sophomore James English (York, Pa.) filled in for No. 3 Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) once again. Coming off a solid win at Bloomsburg Friday night, English met Lehigh sophomore Joey Napoli. Napoli got the first takedown early and led 2-1 with 2:28 after a quick English escape. Napoli got in deep on English's foot, but the talented Lion sophomore countered the move, worked his way around him for his own takedown and tied the bout 3-3 after a quick LU escape. Napoli was undaunted, however, and picked up a takedown with just :02 left in the period to lead 5-3 after three minutes. English chose down to start the second period but could not work his way out of a strong Napoli ride until the 1:20 mark. The escape cut LU's lead to 5-4 (Napoli had :51 in riding time). Napoli got in deep on English one more time, but the Lion was able to force a tie-up and wind out the clock. Napoli, leading 5-4, chose down to start the third period and was cut loose by English to a 6-4 lead. Napoli took one more late shot, but English once again scrambled his way around behind, forcing a stalemate with :37 left in the bout. English worked hard for a shot, but Napoli was able to walk backwards away from the Lion and notch a 6-4 win, cutting PSU's lead to 9-7.
157: Red-shirt freshman David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 6 nationally at 157, faced off against Mountain Hawk junior Sean Bilodeau. Taylor scored quickly, taking Bilodeau down and nearly picking up early back points. Bilodeau was able to reverse Taylor, only to be reversed again and with 1:35 on the clock, Taylor led 4-2. Bilodeau escaped to a 4-3 deficit, but Taylor continued to attack. Taylor smartly stepped behind a slight Bilodeau shot and picked up another takedown, adding two near fall points to lead 8-3 with :11 on the clock. A ride out gave the young Lion a five point lead after the first period (with 1:51 in riding time). Bilodeau chose down to start the second period and paid for it. Taylor scrambled on the edge of the mat as Bilodeau tried to force a reversal. The talented Lion caught the Lehigh junior and put his shoulders to the mat for a thrilling pin at the 3:33 mark. The amazing move gave Penn State a 15-7 lead at intermission.
165: Red-shirt freshman Jake Kemerer (Greensburg, Pa.) met one of three ranked Lehigh grapplers in the form of No. 11 Brandon Hatchett at 165. Kemerer and the ranked LU grappler put on a show on the edge of the mat, as each man worked for an early takedown, only to be countered by the other. An action packed first period still ended in a scoreless tie. Hatchett chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Kemerer nearly scored on a solid high double, lifting Hatchett off the ground. But the ranked LU man was able to fight his way out of trouble and hold his slim lead with :38 left in the period. Trailing by one, Kemerer chose down to start the final period and escaped to a 1-1 tie with 1:14 on the clock. Kemerer's offensive pressure forced the Lehigh junior into a first stall warning. Neither man scored over the final minute and action entered a sudden victory period tied 1-1. Kemerer brought the PSU fans to their feet once again, shooting low and fast off the opening buzzer to post a stunning 3-1 win over the 11th-ranked Hatchett. The victory put PSU up 18-7.
174: Red-shirt freshman Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 13 at 174, faced off against talented LU rookie Austin Meys. Ruth and Meys scrambled early, with the talented Mountain Hawk grappler nearly scoring early. Ruth was able to work his way out of bounds and force a reset with 1:50 left in the first period. Meys was able to get the first takedown, however, turning a low single into a takedown and a 2-1 lead after a Ruth escape at the 1:00 mark. Ruth forced a scramble after a reset but Meys forced a stalemate with :32 left. Ruth countered a Meys headlock and worked his way behind him for a go head takedown with :15 left on the clock. A quick ride out gave the Lion freshman a 3-2 lead heading into the second period. Ruth chose down to start the second period. The Lion rookie swiftly slid behind Meys for a reversal and a 5-2 lead. Meys escaped to cut into Ruth's lead and action returned to the center circle. Ruth turned a high single into another takedown and a 7-3 lead with :52 on the clock. Meys escaped with :26 left. Trailing 7-4, Meys chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 7-5 deficit. Meys got hit for a first stall warning at the 1:32 mark as Ruth's offense force him into constant defense. Ruth iced the match with a late single leg, working for a takedown as time wound out. While not getting the points, the Lions posted a convincing 7-5 win and gave the Lions a 21-7 lead.
184: All-American Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 184, took on No. 14 Robert Hamlin in one of two bouts pitting ranked opponents against each other. Wright countered a Hamlin shot at the :40 mark and rolled his way around him for a takedown on the edge of the mat. A quick Hamlin escaped made the score 2-1 with :25 on the clock. Trailing 2-1, Hamlin chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie. Wright got called for a stall warning at the :35 mark and was then taken down by Hamlin at the :11 mark to take a 4-2 lead into the third period. Trailing by two, Wright chose down to start the final period and escaped to a 4-3 deficit. With just :40 left, Wright began scrambling for a go ahead takedown, but Hamlin was able to back away and stun the Lion faithful with a 4-3 upset win.
197: Sophomore Justin Ortega (Oxford, Pa.) faced off against LU junior Joe Kennedy at 197. The duo battled through a scoreless first period with neither man finding an opening to score. Kennedy chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 1-0 lead :25 into the stanza. The Mountain Hawk then gained control of Ortega's right ankle, forcing a long scramble until he picked up the takedown with :40 left in the period, taking a 3-0 lead. Kennedy rode Ortega out and carried that lead into the final period. Ortega chose down to start the third period but could not break free of Kennedy. Kennedy turned the Lion sophomore for three near fall points to up his lead to 6-0 with 1:00 left in the match. With a riding time point assured, Kennedy worked for bonus point to try and pick up a major or more. Ortega gave up one stall point and with the riding time point, Kennedy notched an 8-0 major. Kennedy rode Ortega out and carried that lead into the final period. Ortega chose down to start the third period but could not break free of Kennedy. Kennedy turned the Lion sophomore for three near fall points to up his lead to 6-0 with 1:00 left in the match. With a riding time point assured, Kennedy worked for bonus point to try and pick up a major or more. Ortega gave up one stall point and with the riding time point, Kennedy notched an 8-0 major. PSU still lead 21-14.
285: Nittany Lion Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) faced off against Lehigh's Zach Rey in a battle of top-ten heavyweights. Wade entered the bout ranked No. 9 while Rey was the nation's top-ranked big man. The talented ranked duo wrestled evenly for the first three minutes, with neither grappler finding an opening to score. Rey chose down to start the second period and steadily worked his way to a reversal and a 2-0 lead. Rey let Wade loose after a reset with 1:05 left and Wade trailed 2-1. Trailing by one, Wade chose down to start the final period and escaped to a 2-2 tie. Wade began pressuring Rey, forcing the top-ranked Mountain Hawk backwards over the final minute. But the Nittany Lion junior could not break through and the bout headed to a sudden victory period. No one mounted a threat in the extra period and the bout moved to two :30 tie-breaker. Rey was down to start the first :30 and once again, the top-ranked Hawk reversed Wade to take a 4-2 lead. Wade took down to start his period and escaped to a 4-3 and worked for a reversal. Rey was able to hold him off and post a 4-2 (TB) decision. Still, Penn State notched a convincing 21-17 win over Lehigh.