WESTERVILLE, Ohio -- The Cardinal wrestling lineup caught fire midway through another home dual Tuesday night inside the Rike Center, punctuating the first half of the winter season with a 38-11 triumph against Division II Urbana University.
Otterbein, improving to 6-2 in dual action, will now have a full month off to regroup before getting back in action the second week of January. The Cardinals used a similar theme in besting Urbana last season (30-17), where they trailed 17-9 before turning up the heat.
A pair of youngsters helped the Cards build a quick 9-0 lead in this rematch, as sophomore Chase Nelson earned a forfeit at 125 before freshman Joey Buckland held on for a 6-4 decision in the follow bout. He is 8-5 this season while filling in nationally-ranked Jackson Lakso, who is expected back after the holiday break as he recovers from an injury.
The Blue Knights settled in to claim the next three matches, as Santino DiSabato dropped a narrow 3-2 decision and Ryan Whitten also came up just short in the anticipated match of the night. Whitten, fresh off his 157-pound victory at the Ohio Northern Invitational, entered 21-3 overall and squared up with standout Urbana Cole Houser (10-1).
Both wrestlers traded points in a tightly-contested showdown, which ultimately ended 3-3 in regulation before Houser secured an early takedown in overtime to prevail 5-3.
Otterbein rallied from that point, beginning with senior Willy Plaisir delivering a trademark slam in the first round and eventually registering a pin at 2:24. Classmate Donny Didion followed suit with a fall at 1:29, as did nationally-ranked Corbin Bunsold at 2:14. Jarrod Setliff then capped the spurt with a pin after just 40 seconds.
Bunsold, moving up to No. 15 in the latest 184-pound national poll, enters the break with a 15-2 record.
The night ended with top-ranked heavyweight Drew Kasper securing his first technical fall of the season, nearly pinning his counterpart on a few occasions before settling with a 16-1 final score. He remains unbeaten at 13-0, nine of those coming with bonus points.
The Cardinals will return to action on Saturday, January 11 at the Kent State Tuscarawas Duals.
125 - Chase Nelson (OTT) wins by forfeit 6 0
133 - Joey Buckland (OTT) over Alec Fulwider (UU) by Decision, 6-4 9 0
141 - Jacob Edwards (UU) over Santino DiSabato (OTT) by Decision, 3-2 9 3
149 - Jared Ford (UU) over Jacob Williams (OTT) by TF, 18-2 9 8
157 - Cole Houser (UU) over Ryan Whitten (OTT) by Decision, 5-3 in OT 9 11
165 - Willy Plaisir (OTT) over Cameron Carnevale (UU) by Fall, 2:24 15 11
174 - Donny Didion (OTT) over Brendon Hartsell (UU) by Fall, 1:29 21 11
184 - #15 Corbin Bunsold (OTT) over Connor Dixon (UU) by Fall, 2:14 27 11
197 - Jarrod Setliff (OTT) over Major Stratton (UU) by Fall, 0:40 33 11
285 - #1 Drew Kasper (OTT) over Nick Baker (UU) by TF, 16-1 38 11