On Friday evening, No. 1 Penn State held its most anticipated match of the season against No. 3 Ohio State. The Buckeyes gave the Nittany Lions a run for their money, but by the end Penn State secured the victory before the heavyweight match.
The final score was 24-14 with Penn State taking six out of ten bouts. No. 1 at 149, sophomore Zain Retherford won big in his typical style with a pin. Freshman No. 1 157-pounder Jason Nolf also scored some bonus points with a major decision along with senior, No. 1 at 197 Morgan McIntosh who pulled through with a late tech fall.
The match began with the “featured matchup” at 125, No. 4 Nico Megaludis and No. 1 Nathan Tomasello. The sophomore Buckeye was the 2014-15 National Champion at 125 and it was the first time the two met on the mats.
It was even throughout the first and second period, both exchanged escapes for a tie of 1-1. Both took their shots, but neither was able to connect– until the end. Megaludis took a low shot of faith with :15 left of the clock. The shot looked promising until Tomasello used his leverage on top to counter the shot and score the takedown in the final seconds of the bout. The Buckeye walked away with a 3-1 win.
Another exciting match-up came at 141 with the somewhat inconsistent junior, No. 14 Jimmy Gulibon against No. 4 Micah Jordan. Gulibon secured 1:23 in riding time in the first period and set the pace for the entire match. The Nittany Lion took three solid shots throughout the bout, but was unable to finish any of them. Jordan jumped at the opportunity for all three counter-takedowns and took the 6-3 win.
Although the 125 bout was the “featured matchup” of the evening according to the Big Ten Network, I think 184 gave the lightweights a run for their money. Penn State’s No. 9 Matt McCutcheon met with Ohio State’s No. 13 Kenny Courts. Last time the two saw each other was in the quarterfinals at the 2015 NCAA championships. Courts upset McCutcheon in an overtime victory.
McCutcheon was coming off of a slight knee injury. He got hurt during the Illinois match and sat out last week during the Michigan match. The two exchanged shots in the first, then McCutcheon connected with a low double at the end of the period. The Nittany Lion chose down to start the second and notched the escape. Courts was on the bottom to start the third and McCutcheon quickly took away his chance at an escape putting him flat on his stomach. He worked on top and built up a little over two minutes in riding time. It was a huge 4-0 shutout for McCutcheon.
The Nittany Lions remain undefeated with a record of 13-0, 8-0 in the Big Ten. This Friday the team visits No. 14 Lehigh then returns home Saturday to face Michigan State.
BOUT BY BOUT
125: OSU #1 Nathan Tomasello dec. PSU #4 Nico Megaludis, 3-1
133: PSU #5 Jordan Conaway dec. OSU #10 Johnni DiJulius, 8-4
141: OSU #4 Micah Jordan dec. PSU #14 Jimmy Gulibon, 6-3
149: PSU #1 Zain Retherford pinned OSU Sal Marandino, WBF (2:31)
157: PSU #1 Jason Nolf maj. dec. OSU #11 Jake Ryan, 19-6
165: OSU #2 Bo Jordan dec. PSU Geno Morelli, 3-2
174: PSU #1 Bo Nickal dec. OSU #14 Myles Martin, 11-5
184: PSU #9 Matt McCutcheon dec. OSU #13 Kenny Courts, 4-0
197: PSU #1 Morgan McIntosh tech fall OSU Josh Fox, 24-9
285: OSU #2 Kyle Snyder tech fall PSU Jan Johnson, 24-9