Lions edge Buckeyes in Big Ten finale
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 1 ranked Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team took care of business at No. 6 Ohio State, rolling up bonus points in a 29-18 win in Columbus. Junior All-Americans David Taylor and Ed Ruth led coach Cael Sanderson’s squad with big pins at 165 and 184.
Sophomore All-American Nico Megaludis, ranked No. 2 at 125, put the Lions up early with a 9-1 major over No. 12 Nikko Triggas. Megaludis used a furious third period that included two near fall points.
No. 1 Logan Stieber then answered for Ohio State when he pinned Lion freshman Jordan Conaway at 133, getting the fall at the 1:59 mark.
No. 2 Hunter Stieber then matched his brother, pinning Lion senior Derek Reber at 141 (1:25). From there, the Buckeyes got a boost at 149 when No. 19 Cam Tessari upset No. 7 Andrew Alton, 3-1, putting Ohio State up 15-4 after four bouts.
But the Nittany Lions weren’t finished yet, as All-American Dylan Alton, ranked No. 5 at 157, notched a hard-fought 4-3 win over No. 19 Josh Demas to cut into the Buckeye lead. Defending National Champion Taylor, ranked No. 2 at 165, then nearly erased the lead with a pin of Mark Martin with just :05 left in the opening period. The fall (2:55) cut Ohio State’s lead to 15-13.
Ohio State picked up another upset win at 174 with No. 7 Nick Heflin using a last second takedown to grab a 3-2 win over No. 5 Matt Brown.
Defending National Champion Ruth, ranked No. 1 at 184, then gave Penn State the lead with a quick cradle. Ruth got the pin early in the first period, getting the fall at the 1:51 mark and putting Penn State up 19-18. Three-time All-American Quentin Wright , ranked No. 3 at 197, then majored OSU’s Kenny Courts, 9-1. The win put the Lions up 23-18.
Sophomore Jimmy Lawson then put the capper on the dual with a strong showing against No. 12 Peter Capone at 285. Lawson used a takedown, two back points and reversal after choice to roll up a 6-0 lead before Capone took an injury forfeit. The six-point victory gave Penn State the 29-18 win.
The Nittany Lions won the takedown battle 10-4 but dominated the bonus point war, picking up 11 while winning six of ten bouts. Penn State had two pins, two majors and the forfeit win at 285 (with Lawson already leading 6-0 at the time).
Taylor and Ruth each recorded their 32nd career pins, moving them into a tie for fifth all-time at Penn State. Wright currently sits in second with 35. Ruth and Wright remain unbeaten on the season, with Ruth checking in at 23-0 and Wright at 22-0.
Taylor is 21-1. Penn State moves to 11-1 on the year, 7-1 in this, its final Big Ten dual. The Buckeye home loss sends OSU to 11-3, 5-3 in Big Ten duals.