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VIDEO: Cortez Highlights B1G Dual Opener
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; -- No. 1 Penn State (5-0, 1-0 B1G) dominated visiting Indiana (6-3, 0-2 B1G) in the Big Ten dual opener for the Nittany Lions. Head coach Cael Sanderson's squad won nine of ten bouts to roll to a 44-3 win in front of nearly 6,500 fans in Rec Hall.
A sell-out crowd of 6,425 filled Rec Hall for Penn State's first home dual since Nov. 12 and was treated la resounding Lion performance, led by junior Jered Cortez (Carol Stream, Ill.) with a big win at 141. The dual victory was Penn State's 36th straight dual victory dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. The sell-out was Penn State's 37th straight in Rec Hall and its 40th of 42 including three of five in the Bryce Jordan Center.
The dual began at 125 where Nittany Lion redshirt freshman Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) dropped a tough 7-2 decision to two-time NCAA qualifier Elijah Oliver, giving the Hoosiers an early 3-0 lead. Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.), ranked No. 18 at 133, returned to action and dominated Hoosier Garrett Pepple, posting an 11-3 major decision to put Penn State up 4-3. Junior Jered Cortez (Carol Stream, Ill.) looked strong at 141, downing No. 12 Cole Weaver 6-5 to give the Nittany Lions a 7-3 lead.
Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, remained unbeaten in B1G duals for his career by pinning IU's Davey Tunon at the 1:42 mark. The fall was the seventh this season for Retherford and the 43rd of his career. Junior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, also remained unbeaten in Big Ten action for his career, with a dazzling first period pin, getting the fall at the 1:30 mark. The pin was Nolf's eighth in nine matches this season and the 37th of his career. The veteran duo gave Penn State a 19-3 lead at intermission.
Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, returned to action for Penn State and picked up a forfeit as Indiana's Bryce Martin suffered a slight injury preparing for the match but could not compete after weighing in. Joseph's win gave Penn State a 25-3 lead. Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, put on a show with a 17-0 technical fall over IU's Devin Skatzka, getting the tech fall at the 4:56 mark with two quick four-point turns late in the second period.
Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 184, continued his penchant for fast falls, pinning Indiana's Norman Conley at the 0:42 mark. It was Nickal's fifth pin this year, all coming in under 1:00 (and the 30th fall of his career). Sophomore Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 9 at 197, put on a takedown show with seven takedowns to roll to a 16-5 major decision with 3:21 in riding time. Junior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at 285, closed out the dual with a strong 11-3 major decision over Indiana's Fletcher Miller. Nevills' win made the final score 44-3 in Penn State's favor.
Penn State dominated the dual, posting a 27-4 takedown advantage. Eight of Penn State's nine wins included bonus points and the ninth was a win over a top-12 wrestler. Penn State tallied 17 bonus points off three pins, a forfeit, a tech fall and three majors. The sellout was the 37th straight in Rec Hall for Penn State and the 40th of 42 including three of five in the Bryce Jordan Center. The Nittany Lions are now 5-0, 1-0 in Big Ten action. Indiana falls to 6-3, 0-2.
Penn State returns the Southern Scuffle after a year away from the event, looking to win its seventh Scuffle title in as many trips (Penn State won six straight before missing the event last year). The 2018 Southern Scuffle, hosted by UT-Chattanooga, is set for Jan. 1-2 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Nittany Lions' next home dual is a Big Ten battle against Purdue in Rec Hall on Friday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m. With all home dual meets sold out, a limited number of Standing Room Only (SRO) tickets are available to select Rec Hall duals based on availability. Call 1-800-NITTANY for information or to purchase tickets.
The 2017-18 Penn State wrestling season is sponsored by The Family Clothesline. Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
#2 Penn State 44, Indiana 3
December 17, 2017 -- Rec Hall -- University Park, Pa.
125: Elijah Oliver IND dec. Devin Schnupp PSU, 7-2 / 0-3
133: #18 Corey Keener PSU maj. dec. Garrett Pepple IND, 11-3 / 4-3
141: Jered Cortez PSU dec. #12 Cole Weaver IND, 6-5 / 7-3
149: #1 Zain Retherford PSU pinned Davey Tunon IND, WBF (3:42) / 13-3
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU pinned Jake Danishek IND, WBF (1:30) / 19-3
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU win by forfeit / 25-3
174: #2 Mark Hall PSU tech fall Devin Skatzka IND, 17-0 (TF; 4:56) / 30-3
184: #1 Bo Nickal PSU pinned Norman Conley IND, WBF (0:42) / 36-3
197: #9 Anthony Cassar PSU maj. dec. Spencer Irick IND, 16-5 / 40-3
285: #3 Nick Nevills PSU maj. dec. Fletcher Miller IND, 11-3 / 44-3
Attendance: 6,425 (37th straight Rec Hall sellout, 40th of 42 including 3 of 5 in the BJC)
Records: Penn State 5-0, 1-0 B1G; Indiana (6-3, 0-2 B1G)
Up Next for Penn State: Southern Scuffle, Jan. 1-2, 2018, Chattanooga, Tenn.
125: Redshirt freshman Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) took on Indiana veteran Elijah Oliver at 125. Schnupp fought off a quick Oliver shot early and looked to control the action on his feet. Blood time halted action a couple times and Schnupp continued to move away from Oliver's offense, picking up a stall warning at the 1:40 mark. Schnupp tried a quick low single at the :40 mark but a stalemate forced a reset and more blood time at the :29 mark. Tied 0-0, Oliver chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Schnupp battled Oliver evenly as the second period clock worked its way down to :29 before another blood time for the Lion halted the action again. Oliver connected on a takedown as the period ended to lead 3-0 after two. Schnupp chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 score. The Lion freshman then turned in on the two-time NCAA qualifier and began looking for a takedown of his own. Schnupp shot low and Oliver countered for a takedown and a 5-2 lead with :50 left. The Hoosier junior finished with a late takedown to post a 7-2 win over Schnupp.
133: Senior Corey Keener (Schuylkill Haven, Pa.), ranked No. 18 at 133, returned to action against Indiana's Garrett Pepple. Keener worked in on a low single, forcing a scramble that he turned into a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the 2:15 mark. Keener worked on top for a few seconds before cutting Pepple loose. Keener blew through a quick double for a second takedown and a 4-1 lead with 1:20 on the clock. Keener cut Pepple loose and then went to work on his feet again but Pepple's defense kept the score at 4-2 through one period. Keener chose down to start the second period and quickly reversed the Hoosier, nearly pinning him in the process, to up his lead to 6-2. Keener cut Pepple loose on a reset with 1:00 left. He then finished in control with a late double leg takedown to lead 8-3 after two periods. Pepple chose neutral to start the third period. Keener scrambled his way to a late takedown and finished on top. With 1:39 in time, Keener posted the 11-3 major decision.
141: Junior Jered Cortez (Carol Stream, Ill.) met No. 12 Cole Weaver of Indiana at 141. Cortez drew first blood with a slick low single to lead 2-0 early. He turned Weaver briefly but the Hoosier worked his way through the move and out of bounds and did not give up the near fall. Cortez controlled the action from the top position for nearly a minute before Weaver escaped and worked his way into a low single and a takedown of his own. Trailing 3-2, Cortez steadily worked his way to an escape and a 3-3 tie after the first period. Weaver chose down to start the second period and appeared to have him turned for two back points. The official was on the other side of the action and Penn State challenged the no call. The call stood and Weaver eventually escaped to a 4-3 lead but Cortez had 1:30 in riding time. Cortez used shoulder control for another takedown and the bout was tied 5-5 at the :20 mark after a quick Weaver escape. Cortez chose down to start the third period. Weaver controlled a Cortez scramble until the Lion escaped with 1:22 left. Cortez led 6-5 but his riding time edge dipped below 1:00. Cortez fought off two Weaver shots, working the clock down to :16. The Lion was hit for one stall with :06 left and the finished on his feet to claim the 6-5 win.
149: Senior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 149, took on Hoosier freshman Davey Tunon. Retherford used a high double to lift Tunon off the mat and take him down on the edge for a quick takedown and a 2-1 lead after cutting him loose with 2:25 on the clock. Retherford tacked on a second takedown and cut with 1:48 left, then tripped the Hoosier to the mat for a third takedown to lead 6-3 with 1:36 on the clock. Retherford's furious offense led to a fourth takedown and an 8-3 lead with 1:10 on the clock. The Lion then controlled the action from the top, worked the Hoosier's shoulders over and nearly got the pin. But time ran out and Retherford settled for a four-point near fall to lead 12-3 after one. Tunon chose neutral to start the second period but Retherford quickly took him down and to his back. Retherford picked up the pin, his seventh this year and the 43rd of his career, at the 3:42 mark.
157: Junior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, met Indiana's Jake Danishek. Nolf scored quickly, taking Danishek down and cutting him loose to a 2-1 lead just over :30 into the bout. Nolf gave up ankle control and then used his legs for a takedown and four back points to lead 8-1. He then set up Danishek by nearly cutting him loose, then rolled through shoulder control and a fast pin. Nolf got the fall at the 1:30 mark.
165: Sophomore Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, returned to action and picked up a forfeit victory, moving to 4-0 on the year.
174: Sophomore Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 2 at 174, met sophomore Devin Skatzka. Skatzka shot quickly, gaining control of Hall. The Lion sophomore scrambled his way out of trouble and Indiana called for a video review, looking for a takedown. The call stood and action resumed 0-0 at the 2:40 mark. Hall swiftly took Skatzka down for a quick 2-0 lead. He then worked from the top position, turning the Hoosier for four near fall points to lead 6-0 with 1:40 on the clock. Hall worked top control into a huge riding time edge. Hall finished on top to lead 6-0 with 2:20 in riding time after one period. Hall chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 7-0 lead. Hall forced Skatzka's shoulders down to the mat, worked around for a low single and took the Hoosier down to lead 9-0 with 1:10 on the clock. He then turned him for four back points once, reset, and turned him again for four more to post the dizzying 17-0 technical fall at the 4:56 mark.
184: Junior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 184, met Indiana's Norman Conley. Nickal continued his penchant for fast falls, working shoulder control into a takedown and then finishing off the throw with a pin at the :42 mark. It marks the fifth time this year Nickal has picked up a pin in under one minute.
197: Sophomore Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 9 at 197, took on Indiana's Spencer Irick. Cassar worked his way to a quick takedown and a 2-0 lead less than :30 into the bout and then controlled the action from the top position. Cassar cut Irick loose to a 2-1 score and action resumed on the Nittany Lion logo midway through the period. Cassar blew through a high shot with :15 left for a second takedown and led 4-01 with 1:04 in riding time after one period. Irick chose down to start the second period and worked his way to an escape and a 4-2 score. But Cassar's offense was on point and the Lion sophomore picked up his third takedown to lead 6-2 with just over 1:00 left in the period. Cassar cut the Hoosier loose at the :30 mark and moved in for a high double and a fourth takedown to lead 8-3 with 2:36 in time after two periods. Cassar chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 9-3 lead. Cassar scrambled his way to another takedown and led 11-3 with 1:10 on the clock. Cutting Irick loose, Cassar countered a slight Hoosier shot for a takedown and a 13-5 lead after another cut. The Lion sophomore finished on top with a final takedown and posted the strong 16-5 major with 3:21 in riding time.
285: Junior Nick Nevills (Clovis, Calif.), ranked No. 3 at 285, met Indiana junior Fletcher Miller. Nevills countered a slight Miller shot, gained control of the Hoosier's shoulders and finished off the takedown to lead 2-0 with 1:36 on the clock. Nevills cut Miller loose, then worked in on a low single leg. He lifted Miller's leg off the mat and tripped the Hoosier to the mat for a 4-1 lead with :40 left in the opening period. Nevills finished in control and led 4-1 with :59 in time after one period. Nevills chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. Nevills used a low single to notch another takedown and up his lead to 7-1 midway through the period. Nevills finished on top and led 7-1 with 2:12 in time after two periods. Miller chose down to start the third period and Nevills cut him loose at the 1:40 mark. Looking for bonus points, Nevills worked his way around for a fourth takedown and a 9-3 lead after cutting him loose again at the 1:15 mark. Nevills forced a second stall, got the point and then picked up the 11-3 major with 2:46 in riding time.