No. 9 Nittany Lion Wrestlers Pound No. 7 Iowa 21-12 To Grab Impressive Big Ten Road Win
State College, Pa. ¨C February 3, 2006 ¨C The No. 9 Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, under the guidance of head coach Troy Sunderland, grabbed an impressive 21-12 win at No. 7 Iowa in a key Big Ten wrestling dual. The Nittany Lions won six of ten bouts, including a key pin from sophomore Tim Haas (Camp Hill, Pa.) at 125, to stay perfect on the road this season.
The dual began at 157, where Nittany Lion Nathan Galloway (State College, Pa.) met up with Iowa¡¯s Joe Johnston in a battle of ranked grapplers. Galloway entered ranked No. 14 while Johnston entered ranked No. 7. The first period was scoreless for the first minute and a half before Galloway scored the first takedown. The Penn State junior turned the favored Hawkeye quickly after a stoppage and added three back points to take a 5-0 lead and rode Johnston out for the remainder of the period to carry a 5-0 lead and a 1:33 riding time edge into the second period. Galloway chose down to begin the second and was cut loose by Johnston. Galloway, up 6-0, turned a quick Johnston shot into two points of his own and silenced the Iowa crowd with an 8-1 lead with a minute left in the second. Johnston scored his first take down with :30 left in the second and would begin an amazing comeback, cutting the lead to 9-3 after a Galloway escape. Galloway got hit with two stalls in the period but still led 9-4 entering the third. The Nittany Lion junior received injury time before the third period started as he was hit with cramps in his legs. Johnston took Galloway down to begin the third and forced Galloway into another stall and within seconds, cutting the lead to 9-8. Johnston took a 10-9 lead with another quick take down and added three back points to take a 13-10 lead with :30 left. Neither grappler would score again. The 13-10 come-from-behind win gave Iowa an early 3-0 lead. Galloway fell to 10-9 on the year while Johnston improved to 17-5.
At 165, Nittany Lion freshman David Erwin (Urbana, Ohio), ranked No. 12, battled Iowa¡¯s Eric Luedke. A furious start with both wrestlers having a chance to score early resulted in an Erwin takedown and a 2-0 lead. Erwin cut Luedke loose and held a 2-1 lead, which is how the second would end. The Nittany Lion freshman took down to begin the second. Luedke rode Erwin for the bulk of the second period, picking up a stall warning in the process. Down 2-1, Luedke chose down to begin the third and quickly escaped to tie the score at 2-2. Erwin would counter a Luedke shot to take a 4-2 lead. After a Luedke escape, Erwin would fight off a last second Iowa scoring attempt to secure a 4-3 win and tie the team score at 3-3. Erwin moved to 20-5 with the win while Luedke fell to 13-10
Nittany Lion junior James Yonushonis (Philipsburg, Pa.) battled Iowa¡¯s Ben Stedman at 174. Yonushonis, ranked No. 11, could not score on the Hawkeye reserve (Iowa¡¯s No. 7 Mark Perry was out with an injury) in the first period. The Nittany Lion took down to begin the second and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead and got the bout¡¯s first takedown with 1:10 left in the second. Stedman escaped in good time to cut Yonushonis¡¯ lead to 3-1 with :50 left. With just :05 left, Stedman tied the score with a late take down, sending the bout to the third knotted at 3-3. Stedman escaped to begin the third period and took an unlikely 4-3 win. But Yonushonis would quickly get a take down to tie the score at 5-5 after a Stedman escape. With :35 left, Yonushonis took a 7-5 lead with a solid take down and began to work Stedman from the top position, holding onto his lead while not allowing Steadman out. The Philipsburg native held on for a 7-5 win and gave Penn State a 6-3 lead. Yonushonis improved to 15-4 with the win while Stedman fell to 8-10.
Top-ranked 184-pounder Eric Bradley (Plaistow, N.H.) met No. 7 Paul Bradley in another battle of the nation¡¯s best. The first period began with each wrestler working hard on each others arms, with the only work for the scorekeeper being a stall warning on each wrestler. In a match-up of top ten wrestlers, the first three minutes were scoreless. Eric chose down to begin the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Paul got in on a single leg but Eric quickly crawled back, circled in on the right side, and turned it into a take down of his own. Leading 3-0, the Nittany Lion All-American rode the Hawkeye for the remainder of the second period and carried that lead into the final period. Paul took down to begin the third period and, already facing a :50 riding time deficit, needed to get out early. Eric was hit with a second stall warning, cutting his lead to 3-1 and Paul escaped to a 3-2 deficit. Eric, however, maintained a 1:01 riding time edge. The Penn Stater began to dictate the action as the third period progressed, driving in and forcing Paul off the mat. Paul took one final shot but Penn State¡¯s top-ranked Bradley would hold on to a 4-2 win (adding the riding time point). Bradley¡¯s win increased Penn State¡¯s lead to 9-3 and kept the Penn State senior undefeated at 6-0. Iowa¡¯s Paul Bradley fell to 7-4.
Sophomore Phil Davis (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 6 at 197 for Penn State, took on Hawkeye freshman Dan Erekson in the next bout. The Penn State All-America took a 2-0 lead with 1:20 left in the first with a take down. Erekson escaped quickly to halve the lead. The remainder of the period was scoreless and Davis took a 2-1 lead into the second. Davis took down to begin the second. Erekson got hit with an early stall warning as Davis struggled to get loose from the bottom position. Davis reversed Erekson with :41 left in the second and took a 4-1 lead. The Harrisburg native rode Erekson out and carried the 4-1 lead into the third. Erekson chose neutral to begin the final period but Davis quickly took Erekson down to up his lead to 6-1. Keeping Erekson flat underneath, Davis worked for a turning combination up top managed to control Erekson for the remainder of the third period. Davis grabbed a 7-1 win and upped Penn State¡¯s lead to 12-3. Davis improved to 13-3 while Erekson fell to 13-8.
At heavyweight Penn State¡¯s Joel Edwards (Upper Darby, Pa.), ranked No. 18, took on Iowa¡¯s Ryan Fuller. Fuller got the first takedown with a solid trip midway through the first, nearly putting Edwards to his back. Edwards escaped easily to cut the Fuller lead to 2-1 with 1:30 left. Edwards got hit with a stall warning as Fuller continued to work the under hook, trying to use his weight advantage up high. The first period ended with Fuller leading 2-1. Edwards deferred his choice in the second and Fuller chose neutral to begin the second. Fuller quickly upped his lead to 4-1 with another take down as the second period began with Edwards escaping to eat into that lead a bit. Edwards had each of his offensive thrusts countered by Fuller and could not score in the second. Trailing 4-2 entering the third, Edwards chose down. Edwards escaped quickly to cut the lead to 4-3 and began forcing the offense. Edwards got hit with another stall and fell behind by one more, 5-3. He nearly scored on Fuller with 1:00 left but the Hawkeye forced a stalemate on the attempt with :43 left to wrestle. Fuller would counter an Edwards shot as time wound down to clinch the win and grab a 7-4 win. The upset victory cut Penn State¡¯s lead to 12-6 and dropped Edwards to 11-4. Fuller improved to 6-4 on the year.
At the top of the line-up, Nittany Lion, Haas up for the upset at heavyweight with a blisteringly quick pin of Iowa¡¯s Lucas Magnani at 125. Haas scored a takedown with less than a minute gone and quickly turned the Hawkeye junior (getting the fall at 1:01) for the critical six team points. The win moved Haas to 14-6 and upped the Lion dual lead to 18-6. Magnani fell to 9-10.
Penn State freshman Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) put his No. 9 ranking on the line against Iowa freshman Daniel Dennis at 133, looking to win and secure the road dual victory. Stayer took an early lead with a quick take down and amassed a 1:04 riding time edge before Dennis escaped. Strayer continued to set the tempo, getting a fall and three near-fall points as the period wound down to carry a 7-1 lead into the second. Dennis chose down to begin the second, but Strayer would pressure the Hawkeye freshman and build up more than 2:00 riding time before allowing him to escape. Strayer, leading 7-2 with 2:28 riding time, began the third on the bottom. He quickly escaped to an 8-2 lead and began looking for a major decision. With the riding time point assured, Strayer got caught with a low ankle pick, taken down and nearly pinned in what would have been a stunning turnaround. Strayer fought off the pin but not before giving up a three-point near fall. The Nittany Lion freshman escaped and posted a dual clinching 10-7 win. The victory, which gave PSU a 21-6 lead, upped Strayer¡¯s mark to 16-2. Dennis fell to 13-11.
In yet another battle of ranked men, Penn State senior DeWitt Driscoll (Connellsville, Pa.) met Iowa¡¯s Alex Tsirtsis at 141. Driscoll entered ranked No. 10 while Tsirtsis entered ranked No. 14. The Penn Stater got the first take down in the heated bout and nearly got back points in the process of working up more than a minute¡¯s worth of riding time. Tsirtsis would escape, but Driscoll would lead 2-1 heading into the second. The Nittany Lion senior chose down to begin the second and worked hard for a reversal but Tsirtsis fought off the strong Driscoll effort. Tsirtsis rode Driscoll for the entire second period, erasing a huge Driscoll riding time edge. Tsirtsis chose down to begin the final period and scored a big reversal to take a 3-2 lead. The Hawkeye added two near fall points to up his lead to 5-2 with a minute-plus riding time edge. Driscoll could not manage to get loose from underneath and Tsirtsis went on to post an impressive 6-2 upset win. The upset loss dropped Driscoll to 11-6 while Tsirtsis improved to 13-8. Penn State¡¯s lead was also cut to 21-9.
The final dual of the night put Penn State senior James Woodall (Dupont, Pa.), ranked No. 11, up against No. 2 Ty Eustice of Iowa at 149. Eustice got the first period¡¯s only take down and carried a 2-1 lead into the second period. Woodall chose down to begin the second and quickly escaped to tie the score at 2-2. The Nittany Lion senior applied the offensive pressure during the second but could not find an opening against the Hawkeye senior. No scoring in the second meant the bout entered the final two minutes tied 2-2. Eustice chose down to begin the third and was allowed up by Woodall, grabbing a 3-2 lead. Eustice had a solid scoring attempt as the third period got underway and, after Woodall fought him off for a moment, turned it into a take down and a 5-2 lead. Woodall escaped, cutting into the lead, but could had his offensive charge turned into a Eustice take down with :25 left. The second-ranked Hawkeye rode Woodall out to post an impressive 7-3 win in the hard fought match. The loss dropped Woodall to 6-4 while Tsirtsis moved to 16-1. Still, the Nittany Lions posted the impressive 21-12 dual victory. Penn State improved to 10-3 with the victory, 2-3 in Big Ten action. Iowa fell to 9-5, 3-2. The win snapped an eight-dual losing streak to Iowa and was the first win against (or at) Iowa since a 25-17 win at Iowa on Jan. 3, 1998. Penn State is now 7-3 vs. ranked teams this season with four of those wins coming on the road. The Lions are 3-2 vs. the top ten as well. The Nittany Lions are now a perfect 5-0 on the road this year, four of those wins coming against top 25 teams.
¡°I knew coming in we¡¯d have to be ready to go the full seven minutes in each bout,¡± Sunderland said. ¡°I thought we came out in the early stages each time very well, but we didn¡¯t close out some match-ups today. Still, we¡¯re very happy to get out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a win. But we have to take some lessons from this on how hard we have to finish. We beat a good Iowa team tonight but we have room to improve and will need to get better to win at Iowa State on Sunday.¡±
Penn State will put its perfect road record on the line this Sunday with a dual at Iowa State. The Nittany Lions and Cyclones will tangle at 1 p.m. Eastern. After this weekend¡¯s swing through the state of Iowa, the Nittany Lions will visit Indiana next Friday in a 7 p.m. bout in IU¡¯s Assembly Hall.
No. 9 Penn State 21, No. 7 Iowa 12 Carver Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa 157: #7 Joe Johnston IOWA dec. #14 Nathan Galloway PSU, 13-10 0-3 165: #12 David Erwin PSU dec. Eric Luedke IOWA, 4-3 3-3 174: #11 James Yonushonis PSU dec. Ben Stedman IOWA, 7-5 6-3 184: #1 Eric Bradley PSU dec. #7 Paul Bradley IOWA, 9-3 197: #6 Phil Davis PSU dec. Dan Erekson IOWA, 7-1 12-3 HWT: Ryan Fuller IOWA dec. #18 Joel Edwards PSU, 7-4 12-6 125: Tim Haas PSU pinned Lucas Magnani IOWA, WBF 1:01 18-6 133: #9 Jake Strayer PSU dec. Daniel Dennis IOWA, 10-7 21-6 141: #15 Alex Tsirtsis IOWA dec. #10 DeWitt Driscoll PSU, 6-2 21-9 149: #2 Ty Eustice IOWA dec. #11 James Woodall PSU, 7-3 21-12 Records: No. 9 Penn State 10-3, 2-3 Big Ten; No. 7 Iowa 9-5, 3-2 Big Ten Up Next for PSU: No. 9 Penn State at No. 8 Iowa State, Sunday, Feb. 5 at 1 p.m. Eastern