No. 15 Roman Bravo-Young topped No. 6 Luke Pletcher in the dual's first match (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- No. 1 Penn State (11-0, 7-0 B1G) dominated No. 5 Ohio State (9-2, 5-2 B1G) in one of the biggest duals of the college wrestling season. Penn State controlled the action from start to finish on its way to a convincing 28-9 road win in front of 13,000 fans in Columbus, Ohio.
Penn State opened but the dual with two thrilling wins over top-six ranked Buckeyes and rolled from there. The dual meet featured seven bouts pitting ranked wrestlers against each other and Penn State won all seven of them, many for bonus points.
The dual began at 133 where true freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 15 at 133, returned to action after missing some time with an injury and took on No. 6 Luke Pletcher. The Nittany Lion battled Pletcher evenly through seven minutes and an overtime period before escaping in his tie breaker period and then maintaining offensive control of Pletcher for his period to post the thrilling 2-1 (TB) win. The Lions lost a team point, however, when Bravo-Young took off his headgear. Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 5 at 141, kept Penn State rolling at 141, using a late takedown to post an exciting 7-6 victory over No. 2 Joey McKenna. The two early Lion wins put Penn State up 5-0 after two bouts.
Redshirt freshman Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) got the call at 149 and nearly notched Penn State's third straight big win. Verkleeren battled No. 3 Micah Jordan tough for seven minutes before dropping a hard-fought 10-8 decision, cutting the Lion lead to 5-3. Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, dismantled No. 6 Ke-Shawn Hayes, rolling to a 21-6 technical fall at the 5:51 mark. Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, dominated No. 12 Te'Shawn Campbell, picking up the bout's only four takedowns and racking up 2:12 in riding time to post an 11-2 major decision. Joseph's performance gave Penn State a 14-3 lead at intermission.
Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, built on Penn State's sizeable halftime lead with a dominating 12-4 major decision over No. 18 Ethan Smith. Hall's win gave the Lions an 18-2 lead as Ohio State lost a team point for a late challenge call. Redshirt freshman Mason Manville (Lorton, Va.) moved up from 165 to step in for No. 2 Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) at 184 and met No. 1 Myles Martin. Manville battled Martin tough before dropping an 18-6 major decision.
Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, then sent the many Penn State faithful who made the trip to Columbus to their feet with a big win in one of the dual's marquee match-ups. Nickal met No.2 Kollin Moore and, after about ninety seconds, turned a slight Moore shot into a tight cradle. Nickal turned Moore to his back with the move and after :30 of work got the first period pin at the 1:38 mark to put Penn State up 24-6 and clinch the dual. Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 3 at 285, was impressive at heavyweight, collecting eighth takedowns in a resounding 18-8 major decision over No. 19 Chase Singletary to put Penn State up 28-6. Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) stepped on the mat at 125 and dropped a tough 7-4 decision to Malik Heinselman in the dual's final bout. Penn State won seven of ten bouts to roll to the 28-9 victory.
The Nittany Lions owned a lopsided 20-12 edge in takedowns. The Lions picked up eight bonus points off a pin (Nickal's fall over No. 2 Moore), a tech fall (Nolf's over No. 6 Hayes) and three majors (Joseph over No. 12 Campbell, Hall over No. 18 Smith and Cassar over No. 19 Singletary). Nickal's thrilling pin of Moore was his 13th of the year and the 54th of his career. He is second all-time at Penn State, two behind teammate Nolf's 56.
The Nittany Lions have now won 56-straight dual meets dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. Sanderson's Lions won their last dual of that campaign, went 16-0 in 2015-16, went 14-0 in 2016-17 and went 14-0 in 2017-18. Penn State is now 11-0 overall, 7-0 in Big Ten action. Ohio State falls to 9-2, 5-2 B1G. Penn State closes out its Big Ten schedule next weekend, hosting Michigan State on Friday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in Rec Hall and visiting Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 2 p.m.
Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.
133: #15 Roman Bravo-Young PSU dec. #6 Luke Pletcher OSU, 2-1 (TB) 2-0*
141: #7 Nick Lee PSU dec. #2 Joey McKenna OSU, 7-6 5-0
149: #3 Micah Jordan OSU dec. Jarod Verkleeren PSU, 10-8 5-3
157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU tech fall #6 Ke-Shawn Hayes OSU, 21-6 (TF; 5:51) 10-3
165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU maj. dec. #12 Te'Shawn Campbell OSU, 11-2 14-3
174: #1 Mark Hall PSU maj. dec. #18 Ethan Smith OSU, 12-4 18-2*
184: #1 Myles Martin OSU maj. dec. Mason Manville PSU, 18-6 18-6
197: #1 Bo Nickal PSU pinned #2 Kollin Moore OSU, WBF (1:38) 24-6
285: #4 Anthony Cassar PSU maj. dec. #19 Chase Singletary OSU, 18-8 28-6
125: Malik Heinselman OSU dec. Devin Schnupp PSU, 7-4 28-9
* Penn State deducted one team point for taking off headgear at 133 and Ohio State deducted one team point for late challenge at 174.
Records: Penn State (11-0, 7-0 B1G), Ohio State (9-2, 5-2 B1G)
Up Next for Penn State: home vs. Michigan State, Friday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m., Rec Hall
133: True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 15 at 133, returned to action after missing some time with an injury and met No. 6 Luke Pletcher. Bravo-Young and Pletcher worked the middle of the mat for the first minute-plus. Bravo-Young stepped back from a couple early Pletcher shots and was denied on a slight effort of his own at the 1:15 mark. The twosome battled evenly for the final minute-plus and the bout moved to the second period scoreless. Tied 0-0, Bravo-Young chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Pletcher worked Bravo-Young's shoulders to the mat at the 1:15 mark but the Lion was able to force a stalemate and action resumed neutral. Bravo-Young tried another duck under but Pletcher defended the shot and the bout moved to the second period with Bravo-Young leading 1-0. Trailing by one, Pletcher chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. The duo traded shots and counter shots as the clock moved below 1:00 with neither wrestler breaking through. Bravo-Young scrambled through a late shot as time expired but Pletcher was able to step back and kill the clock. The first sudden victory period was highlighted by a late Pletcher shot that Bravo-Young rolled out of as time expired, sending the bout to a tie breaker. Bravo-Young chose down to start his tie breaker and quickly escaped to a 2-1 lead. Pletcher chose down for his period and Bravo-Young maintained control until the :08 mark. He was hit with a first stall warning, forcing a reset. Bravo-Young was able to keep Pletcher down for the final seconds and posted the thrilling 2-1 (tb) win. Bravo-Young was dinged for taking off his headgear and Penn State was deducted a team point.
141: Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 5 at 141, met No. 2 Joey McKenna. The duo battled evenly for the first half of the period. McKenna connected on a low single and took an early 2-1 lead after a quick Lee escape. Lee intensified his offense and forced McKenna into a stall for fleeing the mat at the 1:10 mark. The twosome battled evenly for the rest of the period and McKenna led 2-1 after one. McKenna chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. Lee dove in on a fast single, connected on it and tied the match 3-3. But Ohio State challenged the call and the officials overturned it. Trailing 3-1 still, Lee pressed the action over the next minute. McKenna got in on a high single and turned a scramble into a takedown and a 5-1 lead. Lee quickly escaped to a 5-2 score and the bout moved to the third period with Lee trailing 5-2. Lee chose down to start the third period and worked his way to an escape and a 5-3 score. Lee then bulled through a high double, tied the score at 5-5 and then cut McKenna loose to a 6-5 McKenna lead with 1:10 to wrestle. Lee moved in on offense, took the Buckeye down with a fast low shot and took a 7-6 lead with :30 on the clock. The Lion sophomore then controlled the Buckeye on top for the final seconds and posted the thrilling 7-6 win.
149: Redshirt freshman Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) got the call at 149 and took on No. 3 Micah Jordan. Jordan notched the first takedown at the 2:00 mark, opening up 2-0 lead in front of the Ohio State bench. Verkleeren escaped to a 2-1 score, but Jordan was able to work his way through a high single for another takedown and a 4-2 lead with :55 on the clock. Verkleeren picked up a point on unnecessary roughness (hands to the face) and trailed 4-3 after one period. Verkleeren chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 4-4 tie. He gave up a point on stalling and trailed 5-4 and then worked his way in on a high single. He finished off the takedown and took a 6-5 lead, which Jordan tied with an escaped. Verkleeren then gave up a point on hands to the face and the ranked Buckeye led 7-6 at the :40 mark. The twosome battled evenly for the final seconds and Jordan led 7-6 after two periods. Jordan chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to an 8-6 lead. Verkleeren countered a Jordan shot, worked his way into control of Jordan's feet and nearly scored twice with Jordan's shoulders towards the mat. But the scramble ended in a stalemate with :50 left and action resumed neutral. Jordan worked his way in on a shot but Verkleeren countered, rolled through the move and took Jordan Down to tie the bout. But Verkleeren got called for a questionable stall call, giving the Buckeye a 9-8 lead. Penn State challenged the call but it stood. Verkleeren cut Jordan loose but could not notch a final takedown and dropped a hard-fought 10-8 decision.
157: Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, battled No. 6 Ke-Shawn Hayes. Nolf scored quickly, taking Hayes down and cutting him loose for an early 2-1 lead. He quickly added a second takedown to lead 4-1 with 1:55 on the clock and then controlled the action for :30 before cutting Hayes loose to a 4-2 score. Nolf scored just seconds off the reset and cut Hayes again to up his lead to 6-3 with 1:15 on the clock. The Lion senior continued to press on offense and picked up a fourth takedown to lead 8-3 after one period. Hayes chose down to start the second period and Nolf cut him loose to an 8-4 score. Nolf quickly notched his fifth takedown, cut Hayes again and led 10-5 with 1:20 on the clock. The Lion senior picked up his sixth takedown at the 1:00 mark and then worked his riding time edge up to 1:48 before cutting Hayes loose again. Nolf added a seventh takedown with a strong high double and led 14-6 with 2:09 in riding time after two. Nolf chose down to start the third, quickly escaped and then took Hayes down to up his lead to 17-6 with 1:35 on the clock. Nolf worked Hayes over, nearly pinning him but settled for four near fall points and a 21-6 technical fall at the 5:51 mark.
165: Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, met No. 12 Te'Shawn Campbell. The Pittsburgh natives battled evenly for the first minute-plus before Joseph worked a high single into a takedown and an early 2-0 lead. Joseph built up nearly a minute worth of riding time before cutting Campbell loose to a 2-1 lead. With :20 left, Joseph worked a high shot into a second takedown and led 4-1 with :55 in time after one period. Joseph chose down to start the second period. The Lion senior worked his way to an escape and a 5-1 lead with 1:25 left in the period. Joseph blew through a high double, notching a takedown in front of the Penn State corner with :40 on the clock to lead 7-1. The Lion finished on top and carried that lead and :59 of riding time into the second stanza. Campbell chose down to start the third period and Joseph cut him to a 7-2 lead. Joseph continued to press Campbell, countering a slight Buckeye shot for an eight takedown and a 9-2 lead with 1:05 left to wrestle. Joseph then controlled the action on top for the final minute-plus and, with a stall point and 2:13 in time, rolled to the 11-2 major.
174: Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, faced off against No. 18 Ethan Smith. Smith connected on a low shot at the 1:50 mark but Hall fought off the move, got to one leg, rolled through and behind the Buckeye for a takedown of his own and led 2-0 at the 1:21 mark. Hall stepped back from another low Smith shot and continued working the middle of the mat. The twosome battled evenly for the remainder of the period and Hall led 2-1 after one. Smith chose down to start the second period and Hall went to work on top. The Lion controlled Smith deep into the period, working his riding time edge over 1:00. Continuing to look for a chance to turn the Buckeye, Hall forced Smith into a stall warning at the :35 mark and finished the period on top. Leading 2-1 with 2:28 in riding time, Hall chose down to start the third period. The Lion junior quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead and action resumed neutral. Hall shot at Smith's left leg, finished off the takedown and opened up a 5-1 lead. He cut Smith loose to a 5-2 score and immediately went back to work on offense. Hall turned a low single into another takedown and a 7-3 lead. He quickly added two more takedowns and finished the bout on top with a rideout. Hall's 3:16 in riding time gave him the 12-4 major decision. Ohio State lost a team point during the bout for a late challenge.
184: Redshirt freshman Mason Manville (Lorton, Va.) moved up from 165 for No. 2 Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.) at 184 and battled No. 1 Myles Martin. Martin scored quickly on the Lion 165-pounder. The Buckeye notched two takedowns in the opening minute to lead 4-2 at the 2:00 mark. Manville steadied himself and battled the Buckeye All-American evenly for the next minute before Martin broke through for a third takedown to lead 6-2 after the opening period. Manville chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 6-3 score. Manville forced a scramble in the middle of the mat with 1:30 on the clock but Martin was able to muscle through for a takedown and an 8-4 lead. Martin got hit for stalling with 1:00 on the clock and then took Manville down to lead 1-4 with :55 left in the middle period. Leading 10-4, Martin chose down to start the third period and escaped to an 11-4 lead. Manville escaped and Martin notched another takedown to up his lead to 13-5 with a clinched riding time point. Manville shot low with 1:00 on the clock but Martin countered for another takedown and a 15-6 lead. Manville nearly finished off a takedown and the :30 mark, but Martin was able to work his way behind him for a final takedown and an 18-6 major.
197: Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, met No. 2 Kollin Moore in the dual's marquee match-up. Moore shot quickly, trying to connect on a single, but Nickal deftly stepped back and action resumed in neutral. Moore worked in on a single leg and Nickal made him pay. The Lion senior quickly countered the move, worked his way into a cradle and locked Moore up. Nickal turned Moore to his back and, after :30 of work, got the first period fast fall at the 1:38 mark.
285: Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 3 at 285, took on No. 19 Chase Singletary. The Lion big man wasted no time opening up a big lead. Cassar notched two takedowns in the first 1:30 and led 4-1. After the second takedown, he built up :51 in riding time before cutting Singletary loose. Cassar went on to add a third takedown to up his lead to 6-2. Cassar finished on top and carried that lead and 1:27 in riding time into the second period. Singletary chose down to start the second period and Cassar continued to dominate on top. He cut the Buckeye loose with 1:35 on the clock and action continued neutral with Cassar up 6-3. Cassar added a fourth takedown with 1:10 on the clock, then a fifth at the :35 mark to lead 10-4. Leading by six with nearly 3:00 in time, Cassar chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped. He added a sixth takedown and led 13-5 at the 1:15 mark. The Lion senior used a high shot for another takedown and led 15-5 with :50 left to wrestle. The Lion cut Singletary loose at the :25 mark and then rolled through a high double for another takedown. Singletary finished with a reversal but 3:52 in riding time gave Cassar the 18-8 major.
125: Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) battled Ohio State's Malik Heinselman. The duo battled evenly in the middle of the mat, with neither wrestler finding an opening in the first minute plus. Heinselman notched the bout's first takedown at the 1:22 mark and took a 2-0 lead. Schnupp worked his way to an escaped and a 2-1 score with :45 on the clock and then worked the middle of the mat, looking for a chance to score. Leading 2-1 after one, Heinselman chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 lead. The duo then battled for the next minute in the middle of the mat until Heinselman forced a scramble with a low single at the :45 mark. Schnupp was able to fight off the takedown for a bit but Heinselman was able to finish off the move and take a 5-1 lead. Schnupp worked his way to an escape before the period ended and trailed 5-2 after two. The Lion chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 5-3 score. Riding time was not a factor at this point. Heinselman turned a low single into a takedown and a 7-4 lead with :45 on the clock. Schnupp battled for a late takedown but Heinselman was able to fight off the Lion's late efforts and posted the 7-4 win.