OAK HARBOR, Ohio -- In front of a sold out crowd at Oak Harbor High School, the fifth-ranked Ohio State wrestling team beat No. 6 Illinois, 25-9, Friday night in Oak Harbor, Ohio. The Buckeyes won seven matches, including a pin by 133-pounder Logan Stieber in his return to action since December.
The Buckeyes reeled off four consecutive wins en route to the team victory win. After falling behind early, 3-0, following an 8-1 setback for senior Nikko Triggas at 125 pounds, L. Stieber returned to top form, pinning eighth-ranked Daryl Thomas in 2:04. The fall served as Stieber's ninth of the season. Hunter Stieber, Ohio State's 141-pounder, garnered his team-leading 24th victory of the season when he recorded a 10-2 major decision vs. Stephen Rodrigues. H. Stieber jumped out to a 7-1 lead after the first period and increased his advantage to, 9-1, in the second period courtesy of a reversal. Rodrigues scored an escape in the third period to end the match.
Cam Tessari (149 pounds) lifted the Buckeyes to a 13-3 lead after a 6-1 win vs. Caleb Ervin. Tessari owned a 5-0 shutout until an escape by Ervin in the third period cut the Monroeville, Ohio's lead to four. However, Tessari's lead was too much to overcome and he accrued 2:45 of riding time for the victory. Up next at 157 pounds, Josh Demas recorded a 10-3 decision vs. Matt Nora. Up, 5-0, entering the third period, Demas scored a pair of takedowns compared to Nora's trio of escapes for his 15th win of the season.
Coming back from a brief intermission, the Scarlet and Gray dropped its first match at 165 pounds since the 125-pound bout. Freshman Mark Martin lost a close 2-0 decision to No. 8 Conrad Polz, where an escape and riding time proved to be the difference. However, Nick Heflin (174) put the Buckeyes back in the win column in dramatic fashion, downing No. 8 Jordan Blanton, 2-1, in sudden victory. An escape by Blanton in the third period tied the score at 1-all and forced the bout into overtime. In the sudden victory, Heflin scored a takedown with 21 seconds left on the clock to secure his 10th win of the season and give Ohio State a 19-6 lead.
Hometown favorite, C. J. Magrum suffered a tough 2-1 loss to No. 20 Tony Dallago at 184 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Dallago's escape, coupled with a pair of stalling calls on Magrum and riding time was sufficient for the 2-1 win.
Behind a pair of early 3-point nearfalls, freshman Kenny Courts took command of his match vs. No. 13 Mario Gonzalez and was up 11-4 at the conclusion of the second period. However, Gonzalez cut Courts' to three (11-8) before Courts notched an escape for a 12-8 advantage. Despite another stalling call on Courts to make the score 12-9, Courts has amassed 1:03 of riding time for the 13-9 win.
Heavyweight Peter Capone concluded Ohio State's night with a 2-0 victory vs. Chris Lopez. An escape in the second period and 1:56 of riding time gave the Buckeye his 17th win of the season.
The Buckeyes will conclude their Big Ten schedule with a pair of matches the weekend of Feb. 8. Live on BTN, Ohio State will wrestle No. 17 Michigan in Ann Arbor, Feb. 8 before returning to Columbus to host No. 1 Penn State at 4 p.m. Feb. 10 in St. John Arena on Senior Day.
125 - No. 5 Jesse Delgado (Illinois) dec. No. 12 Nikko Triggas, 8-1
133 - No. 1 Logan Stieber pinned No. 8 Daryl Thomas (Illinois), 2:04
141 - No. 2 Hunter Stieber maj. dec. Steven Rodrigues (Illinois), 10-2
149 - No. 19 Cam Tessari dec. Caleb Ervin (Illinois), 6-1
157 - No. 18 Josh Demas dec. Matthew Nora (Illinois), 10-3
165 - No. 8 Conrad Polz (Illinois) dec. Mark Martin, 2-0
174 - No. 7 Nick Heflin dec. No. 8 Jordan Blanton (Illinois), 3-1sv
184 - No. 20 Tony Dallago (Illinois) dec. C.J. Magrum, 2-1
197 - Kenny Courts dec. No. 13 Mario Gonzalez (Illinois), 13-9
HWT - No. 12 Peter Capone dec. Chris Lopez (Illinois), 2-0