EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Michigan State wrestling team extended their winning-streak to four dual on Friday, February 8, defeating Big Ten foe Northwestern by a final score of 30-10 from Jenison Field House.
With a win, the Spartans improved to 8-6 overall on the season and 3-4 in Big Ten action. Northwestern is now 3-9 overall and 1-6 in the conference. A win on Friday secured Michigan State it's best finish in the Big Ten since the 2004-05 season in which they finished 4-3-1 with wins over Penn State, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Northwestern. MSU has two conference duals remaining against Penn State (2/15) and Purdue (2/17).
As a team the Spartans rattled off seven wins, with three earning bonus points for the team. Redshirt senior's Anthony Tutolo and Austin Eicher, and redshirt freshman Jaden Enriquez all won close bouts for Michigan State. Tutolo took Colin Valdiviez to sudden victory before earning a takedown, Eicher scored two reversals and a takedown to best Alec McKenna, and Enriquez scored a takedown on Yahya Thomas in the final 15 seconds of the bout to earn a 3-2 win.
Trailing in the dual, 10-9, heading into the 174 pound bout, the Spartans began to accumulate bonus points. Redshirt sophomore Drew Hughes responded after a loss last weekend by pinning Braxton Cody in 1:16 to give MSU a 15-10 advantage. Also getting in on the fun was redshirt freshman Cameron Caffey, who pinned Brendan Devine in 0:53, giving Michigan State a 21-10 lead.
Redshirt freshman Brad Wilton secured the dual for Michigan State with a 2-1 decision at 197 pounds, causing the Wildcats to forfeit the final bout of the evening.
125: Sebastian Rivera (NU) over Rayvon Foley (MSU), MD, 13-3
133: Anthony Tutolo (MSU) over Colin Valdiviez (NU), SV-1, 3-1
141: Austin Eicher (MSU) over Alec McKenna (NU), 7-2
149: Jaden Enriquez (MSU) over Yahya Thomas (NU), 3-2
157: Ryan Deakin (NU) over Jake Tucker (MSU), 7-3
165: Tyler Morland (NU) over Logan Ritchie (MSU), 5-2
174: Drew Hughes (MSU) over Braxton Cody (NU), Fall (1:16)
184: Cameron Caffey (MSU) over Brendan Devine (NU), Fall (:53)
197: Brad Wilton (MSU) over Zack Chakonis (NU), 2-1
HWT: Chase Beard (MSU) by forfeit
125: No. 7 Rayvon Foley (MSU) vs. No. 1 Sebastian Rivera (NU)
This highly anticipated showdown of ranked wrestlers lived up to its billing and started with a bang, as both grapplers jockeyed for early momentum. Rivera tallied a takedown and a four-point near fall for a 6-0 lead after the opening period. Foley got on the board with a pair of escapes sandwiched around another Rivera takedown to make the score 8-2 after two stanzas. The Wildcat added to his scoring in the third, and Rivera kept Foley at bay, taking the major decision at 13-3.
133: Anthony Tutolo (MSU) vs. Colin Valdiviez (NU)
Tutolo and Valdiviez were scoreless through not just the opening period, but the second as well, before Valdiviez got an escape early in the third to take a 1-0 lead. With less than 30 seconds in the final stanza of regulation, Valdiviez was assessed a stalling penalty for one point to Tutolo to tie the bout and send it to extra time. Tutolo scored a takedown for the 3-1 sudden victory decision.
141: Austin Eicher (MSU) vs. Alec McKenna (NU)
Eicher and McKenna traded takedowns in the first to level the bout at 2-2 after one. The Spartan tallied a reversal in the second and a takedown in the third and added the riding time point for the 7-2 decision victory for MSU.
149: Jaden Enriquez (MSU) vs. Yahya Thomas (NU)
Following a scoreless opening stanza, Enriquez and Thomas swapped escape points in the second for a 1-all battle heading to the third. After back-and-forth action but no scoring, Enriquez scored a takedown in the waning seconds, that Northwestern challenged. The official reviewed the call and upheld the two points for Enriquez, leaving just two seconds on the clock and the Spartan secured the thrilling 3-1 decision.
157: Jake Tucker (MSU) vs. No. 3 Ryan Deakin (NU)
Tucker took a 2-0 lead but it was shortlived as Deakin countered with an escape and takedown of his own for a 3-2 lead. The Wildcat added an escape before Tucker posted an escape of his own, but Deakin added a takedown to take a 6-3 advantage after two. The third frame was scoreless and Deakin added the riding time point for a 7-3 decision.
165: Logan Ritchie (MSU) vs. Morland (NU)
Morland tallied a takedown before Ritchie countered with an escape for a 2-1 score after one. The Wildcat added an escape in the second before opening the third with a two-point near fall in the third. Ritchie got within 5-2 with an escape, but couldn't get any closer before the horn for the 5-2 final.
174: No. 18 Drew Hughes (MSU) vs. Braxton Cody (NU)
Hughes bolted out to a 6-0 lead with a takedown and four-point near fall, before maintaining his dominance and pinning Cody at 1:16. It was Hughes' third-straight win via a fall and his 11th of the season.
184: No. 18 Cameron Caffey (MSU) vs. Brendan Devine (NU)
Just like the Hughes bout, Caffey made quick work of Devine with a pair of quick takedowns. Caffey continued his control and pinned Devine at 53 seconds. Caffey ran his win streak to six-straight bouts and second fall in that spurt as part of sixth of the season.
197: Brad Wilton (MSU) vs. Zack Chakonis (NU)
The bout opened scoreless through the first period before Wilton added an escape early in the second. Chakonis registered an escape of his own with just over 30 seconds left in regulation to tie it at 1-all, and neither wrestler scored before the horn. However, Wilton controlled the bout enough to earn the riding time point to earn the 2-1 decision.
HWT: Chase Beard (MSU) vs. No. 16 Conan Jennings (NU)
Beard won by forfeit.