Penn trounces Harvard, Brown

PHILADELPHIA -- After a weekend off, No. 22 Penn returned to the wrestling mat with a vengeance on Saturday, posting a pair of convincing wins over Ivy League rivals. In the morning, Penn downed Harvard, 24-6, and followed that up with a 35-4 trouncing of Brown. The Quakers went 17-3 on the day individually, with a 35-11 edge in takedowns over the two duals.

In 2012, Penn left Boston with a sour taste in its mouth after a 23-19 loss to the Crimson which ended a 21-match winning streak. On Saturday, the Quakers made sure they did not suffer back-to-back losses to the Crimson for the first time since the 1988-89 and 1989-90 seasons with a convincing 24-6 win.

The Red and Blue won eight of ten bouts, including five in a row to close the dual, to pull away for the win. No. 20 Mark Rappo opened the dual with a 6-3 win over Jeffrey Ott, scoring two points in each period. Rappo scored in multiple ways, notching a takedown in the first period, a reversal in the second and two nearfall points in the third. Ott added a reversal in the third, but it was not enough.

Jeff Canfora picked up his first dual win as a Quaker with an 8-5 decision over Shay Warren. Canfora had takedowns in each period, including a late score to break open a 5-4 match.
At 141 pounds, the latest incarnation of the C.J. Cobb/Steven Keith rivalry went the way of Keith, 11-4. No. 13 Keith scored quickly in the first, not allowing No. 9 Cobb to get any traction. Keith rode the rest of the period, adding two backpoints for a 4-0 lead with 2:54 of riding time after one period. In the second, Cobb attempted to lessen the wide riding time margin, and did so for most of the period before a late reversal from Keith to build a 6-0 lead and take 1:28 of riding time to the third period. Cobb scored two takedowns in the third period to attempt a comeback, but Keith finished the bout with a takedown in the final seconds for the win.

Andrew Lenzi got Penn back on track with a 4-1 win at 149 over Todd Preston. Lenzi scored all of his points in the first period on a takedown and two backpoints via a turk, and wrestled a solid defensive third period for the win.

Troy Hernandez had No. 8 Walter Peppelman scrambling early at 157, just missing out on a takedown and backpoints which would have followed before Peppelman finished the wild scramble with five points of his own. Peppelman worked for the fall, but Hernandez did not concede and only allowed a riding time point for a 6-0 loss.

Ahead by just three points midway through the dual, the Quakers put together a pair of comeback wins as part of a five-match run to shut the door on the Crimson.

Casey Kent started the run at 165 in a battle of true freshmen against Devon Gobbo. Both wrestlers went for an inside trip midway through the first period, but it was Gobbo who finished for four points. Kent escaped quickly out of it though, heading to the second period trailing, 4-1. In the second, Kent was able to work an escape and score a late takedown to tie the match, 4-4, heading to the third. In the final period, Kent came back again after a Gobbo escape to notch the final takedown and add riding time for a 7-5 decision.

Ian Korb avenged a loss last year to Harvard in the dual and a loss earlier this season to Cameron Croy at Midlands with a 2-0 decision at 174. After a scoreless first period, Korb was dominant on top in the second for a full two-minute ride. An escape from Korb eight seconds into the third period was the first point of the bout and he finished with aggressive wresting in the final minute to secure the win.

The most intense bout of the day came at 184, where Canaan Bethea defeated Josh Popple, 4-2, in second sudden victory to avenge a technical fall loss to Popple earlier in the season at the Binghamton Open. Bethea scored early in the first period and took 2:30 of riding time with him to the second. In the middle frame, Bethea chose neutral, but it was Popple who finished a scramble to tie the match. Popple rode for the entire third period, but all that did was erase Bethea's riding time and send the match to overtime. In the first sudden victory period, a wild scramble lasted almost 30 seconds but did not determine a winner. Bethea initiated the scramble with a shot, but Popple rolled through, looking for a Peterson. Neither connected and the bout went to tiebreakers. Bethea chose down for the first 30-second period, and Popple held him down. Bethea returned the favor in the second 30-second frame. In the second period of sudden victory, Bethea cleared the defense and connected on a blast double for the win.

No. 9 Micah Burak needed to come back for his eighth win of the year, but did so in fine fashion against James Fox, 6-3. Fox scored first on a single in the first minute. Burak escaped quickly to being the match to the second period at 2-1. Fox escaped early in the second period, but Burak emphatically tied the match with a lat drop at the buzzer for two points. In the third, Burak chose down and escaped to take a lead, adding to it with a finish from a three-quarter nelson late in the period.

Kyle Cowan finished the dual with a 2-1 win. Cowan rode for the entire second period and escaped, countering Daniel Gajdzik's point earned off Cowan's second stall warning.

In the second dual of the day, Penn won the first seven bouts to stake itself to a 29-0 lead. Brown did not register a takedown until the 184-pound match, and Penn had the opening score in nine of the ten bouts.

Mark Rappo won a physical bout with Billy Waterson, 8-3. Rappo had a takedown in each period, adding 2:29 of riding time for the convincing win. Rappo is now 9-2 in duals this season. Jeff Canfora followed with his first career dual-meet bonus-point win via an 11-0 major decision. Canfora had two takedowns, and added five nearfall points and 3:40 of riding time for the win.

No. 9 C. J. Cobb got back to his winning ways with a 10-2 major decision over Cort Choate. Cobb notched four takedowns in the match for his sixth major decision of the season. Andrew Lenzi followed with a win by injury default over Grant Overchasier at 149 pounds. Lenzi led 2-0 quickly before Overchasier had to default at 0:28 of the match.

Troy Hernandez was dominant on top in a 6-1 win over Phil Marano, scoring two takedowns and adding 4:16 of riding time. Casey Kent added six more team points with his first career fall, pinning Giuseppi Lanzi at 2:49. Ian Korb finished his sweep of the day with a 10-4 win over Ricky McDonald at 174. Korb had four takedowns in the match. Ophir Bernstein provided the only win of the day for Brown, defeating Harrison Cook at 184 by major decision, 14-3.

No. 9 Micah Burak downed Gus Marker, 7-2, to extend Penn's lead to 32-4. Burak had a pair of takedowns in the first period and added a third in the middle period for his scoring. Steven Graziano finished the dual with a two-takedown performance against D.J. Ingham in a 5-2 win.

The Quakers are now 7-3 overall in duals, and 2-1 inside the Ivy League. The Quakers head to the Big Apple Feb. 16 to take on Columbia at 2 p.m.

Notes: Penn had the takedown edge against Harvard, 13-7 ... Penn had the opening takedown edge, 5-3 ... The Quakers had the edge in close bouts, winning all eight matches decided by three points or less ... Mark Rappo is now 6-1 all-time against Harvard wrestlers ... 11 of Casey Kent's 19 wins have come with bonus points ... Penn has won 21 consecutive duals against Brown ...

#22 Penn def. Harvard, 24-6
125: #20 Mark Rappo (Penn) def. Jeffrey Ott (HU), 6-3 Penn leads, 3-0
133: Jeff Canfora (Penn) def. Shay Warren (HU), 8-5 Penn leads, 6-0
141: #13 Steven Keith (HU) def. #9 C.J. Cobb (Penn), 11-4 Penn leads, 6-3
149: Andrew Lenzi (Penn) def. Todd Preston (HU), 4-1 Penn leads, 9-3
157: #8 Walter Peppelman (HU) def. Troy Hernandez (Penn), 6-0 Penn leads, 9-6
165: Casey Kent (Penn) def. Devon Gobbo (HU), 7-5 Penn leads, 12-6
174: Ian Korb (Penn) def. Cameron Croy (HU), 2-0 Penn leads, 15-6
184: Canaan Bethea (Penn) def. Josh Popple (HU), 4-2 (SV2) Penn leads, 18-6
197: #9 Micah Burak (Penn) def. James Fox (HU), 6-3 Penn leads, 21-6
285: Kyle Cowan (Penn) def. Nicholas Gajdzik (HU), 2-1 Penn leads, 24-6

#22 Penn def. Brown, 35-4
125: #20 Mark Rappo (Penn) def. Billy Waterson (Brown), 8-3 Penn leads, 3-0
133: Jeff Canfora (Penn) def. Anthony Finocchiaro (Brown), 11-0 Penn leads, 7-0
141: #9 C.J. Cobb (Penn) def. Cort Choate (Brown), 10-2 Penn leads, 11-0
149: Andrew Lenzi (Penn) def. Grant Overcvashier (Brown), Injury Default (0:28) Penn leads, 17-0
157: Troy Hernandez (Penn) def. Phil Marano (Brown), 6-1 Penn leads, 20-0
165: Casey Kent (Penn) def. Giuseppi Lanzi (Brown), FALL 2:49 Penn leads, 26-0
174: Ian Korb (Penn) def. Ricky McDonald (Brown), 10-4 Penn leads, 29-0
184: Ophir Bernstein (Brown) def. Harrison Cook (Penn), 14-3 Penn leads, 29-4
197: #9 Micah Burak (Penn) def. Gus Marker (Brown), 7-2 Penn leads, 32-4
285: Steven Graziano (Penn) def. D.J. Ingham (Brown), 5-2 Penn leads, 35-4


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