Cleveland State comes from behind to top Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Cleveland State University wrestling team trailed by four points with two bouts left, but the Vikings won the final two matches of the evening in thrilling fashion to claim a 19-17 win at Buffalo in each team's Mid-American Conference opener Friday evening inside Alumni Arena.

Sophomore Ben Smith and redshirt sophomore John Kelbly ensured the historic dual was a win for CSU as both Vikings won must-win bouts to help the guests claim a victory in their first dual as a member of the Mid-American Conference.

The first three bouts were all won with bonus points, two of which were won by Vikings.

True freshman Logan Heil used a seven-point second period to open up a 9-0 lead after five minutes in the opening bout at 125 pounds. The shutout only ended when Heil let his opponent up for an escape in the final frame as he continued to tack on points. He cruised to a 16-2 major win in his first-ever collegiate dual.

CSU then dropped the 133-pound bout to the second-ranked preseason wrestler in the MAC.

Redshirt senior Evan Cheek got six huge points for the Vikings at 141 pounds. It seemed as though the first period would be scoreless, but with just seconds left, Cheek secured a takedown and collected the fall immediately thereafter to tally the win.

After three one-sided bouts to open the dual, none of the final seven bouts were decided by more than four points, with the tight matches only adding to the intensity of the final outcome.

Buffalo claimed wins at 149, 157 and 165 to take a 14-10 lead as the Bulls used a takedown late in the third period at 157 to break a tied bout.

Redshirt sophomore Chase Archangelo pulled the Vikings back in it with his win at 174. He notched a first-period takedown and never looked back as he held on for a comfortable 7-3 victory after earning the riding-time point. The win came in his first-ever dual against a Division I opponent.

A Buffalo takedown with just seconds left in a tied bout at 184 pounds appeared as though it might be a backbreaker for the Vikings' chances.

With CSU trailing, 17-13, with two bouts remaining, the Vikings needed a pair of wins. And that's exactly what Smith and Kelbly delivered.

Facing an opponent he lost to last season, Smith got off to a slow start. He trailed, 2-1, after the first and was behind, 5-3, after the second. However, Smith continued to battle, looking better as the bout progressed, and he came back to claim a 7-6 win.

Kelbly and his opponent were scoreless after the first period. He earned a quick escape in the second period and held his 1-0 lead entering the third. Starting on the top position, Kelbly performed brilliantly to ride his opponent for the entire two minutes as his 2-0 win in the bout secured the team victory for CSU.

Cheek and Smith both secured their team-leading 13th wins of the season Friday. Cheek now owns a team-best four pins this season and eight bonus-point wins. Heil tallied his 10th overall victory of the season and his second of the bonus-point variety.

CSU won its first Division I dual of the season for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

Cleveland State will return home next weekend as it hosts the 15th annual Cleveland State Open Saturday, Dec. 14.

  • Cleveland State came from behind to top Buffalo, 19-17
  • The match was the first-ever MAC dual for the Vikings
  • Ben Smith and John Kelbly both won must-win matches in the final two bouts
  • Redshirt senior Evan Cheek claimed the only pin of the dual
  • True freshman Logan Heil won his first-ever collegiate dual, 16-2
  • Redshirt sophomore Chase Archangelo won his first league dual bout
  • CSU won its first Division I dual of the season for the first time since 2011-12

    125: Logan Heil (CSU) over Jordan Reyes (UB) - 16-2 MD | CSU leads, 4-0
    133: Derek Spann (UB) over Justin Patrick (CSU) - 20-2 TF 5:37 | UB leads, 5-4
    141: Evan Cheek (CSU) over Marcus Robinson (UB) - Fall 2:57 | CSU leads, 10-5
    149: John Arceri (UB) over Gus Sutton (CSU) - 3-0 dec. | CSU leads, 10-8
    157: Michael Petite (UB) over Nico O'Dor (CSU) - 6-4 dec. | UB leads, 11-10
    165: Troy Keller (UB) over Riley Smucker (CSU) - 7-3 dec. | UB leads, 14-10
    174: Chase Archangelo (CSU) over Jake Lanning (UB) - 7-3 dec. | UB leads, 14-13
    184: Pete Acciardi (UB) over DeAndre Nassar (CSU) - 3-1 dec. | UB leads, 17-13
    197: Ben Smith (CSU) over Sam Schuyler (UB) - 7-6 dec. | UB leads, 17-16
    285: John Kelbly (CSU) over Nolan Terrance (UB) - 2-0 dec. | CSU wins, 19-17
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