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Nov. 2, 2013
FAIRFAX, Va. - Two members of the top-ranked Penn State wrestling team took part in the 2013 NWCA All-Star Classic in Fairfax, Va. Held in George Mason University's Patriot Center, All-Americans David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) each competed at the exhibition event.
Taylor, ranked No. 1 at 165, was Penn State's first competitor, taking on No. 4 Michael Moreno of Iowa State. Taylor, a three-time All-American, three-time National Finalist and the 2012 NCAA Champion and Hodge Trophy winner, came out on fire, recording a quick taking down and tacking on two two-point turns for a 6-0 lead. Moreno escaped at the 1:40 mark, but Taylor quickly took him down for another takedown to lead 8-1 after the first period.
Moreno chose down to start the second stanza and Taylor continued to dominate action on top, building up over 3:00 in riding time while looking for another tilt. Taylor added another takedown to lead 10-2 heading into the third. Taylor chose down to start the final stanza. Moreno put together a solid ride but Taylor was steady, working his way to a late reversal. With 3:06 in riding time, Taylor posted a strong 13-2 major decision.
Brown, ranked No. 3 at 174, took on No. 1 Andrew Howe of Oklahoma. Brown, an All-American as a National Finalist last year, met Howe for the first time. Howe is a three-time All-American and former National Champion as well. Howe struck first with a takedown early in the first period, but Brown quickly escaped to a 2-1 deficit at the 1:20 mark. The duo then battled evenly for the rest of the period, giving the Sooner a 2-1 lead after one.
Brown chose down to start the second period and Howe then started to work on a long ride. But the Sooner was not generating any offense on top and was his hit with three straight stall calls, giving Brown a 3-2 lead after two periods. But Howe had built up more than 2:00 in riding time with a ride-out. Howe then chose down to start the third period and worked his way to an escape and a 3-3 tie. With a riding time point against him, Brown put together a furious close but could not notch the takedown and Howe escaped with a 4-3 win on 2:00 in riding time.
Over 4,000 fans attended the event in the Patriot Center. The results of the exhibition do not count towards Taylor and Brown's season records. In preparation for the start of the new campaign, the Nittany Lions will be sending a group of unattached wrestlers to the Clarion Knight Point Open on Sunday, Nov. 3, as well as a strong contingent of grapplers to the Binghamton Bearcat Open on Sunday, Nov. 10.
Penn State opens up the 2013-14 season at Rider on Sat., Nov. 16, and at Lehigh on Sun., Nov. 17. All-Americans David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio) and Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah) will take part in the NWCA All-Star Classic two weeks prior to that on Nov. 2 at George Mason. In addition, Penn State will have a presence at the Binghamton Open on Nov. 10 with many Lions making the trip unattached.
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 2013-14 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.