No. 1 Penn State went home with 30-15 win over No. 8 Illinois, but this much anticipated match made the blow out one to remember.
Either Nittany Lion No. 3 Jason Nolf or Illinois’ No. 1 Isaiah Martinez was going to venture into the unfamiliar feeling of losing. Neither one had known the feeling since the start of their college careers.
Nolf took control early. He took control of the tempo. His offensive style took control of the period. He had the momentum from the start. Regardless of the score, Nolf owned the match.
Nolf took shot after shot. He countered a Martinez shot for his first takedown and later Martinez connected on a high single for his one and only takedown of the bout. The two exchanged a few escape points and Nolf’s quick pace forced Martinez into two stalling calls and a point for Nolf in the second. The score was 4-3. After a stalemate and a reset, Nolf took a low shot and Martinez went for the counter attack. The two scrambled in the middle of the mat and Nolf got the takedown. The Nittany Lion was in position to go for the pin. Nolf saw his chance and muscled Martinez’s shoulders down flat. At 4:56, Nolf picked up the second period fall and handed Martinez his very first collegiate loss.
No. 1 Zain Retherford and No. 1 Bo Nickal also had pins. No. 1 Morgan McIntosh and No. 4 Nico Megaludis added bonus point wins as well. No. 10 Matt McCutcheon had to take an injury default loss due to a twist of his knee and heavyweight Jan Johnson put up an impressive performance against No. 20 Brooks Black. Johnson still ended up with a loss, but it was one of the best heavyweight showings Penn State has had this season.
The exciting win at Illinois puts Penn State at 11-0, 6-0 in the conference.
Penn State returns to Rec Hall this Sunday and will take on No. 6 Michigan at 2 p.m. Michigan is the highest ranked team Penn State will face so far this season and nine out of the ten Wolverines in the starting lineup are ranked.
A few match ups to look for are 149 with Penn State’s No. 1 Zain Retherford and Michigan’s No. 6 Alec Pantaleo, 184 with a questionable No. 10 Matt McCutcheon and No. 9 Domenic Abounader and 197 with No. 1 Morgan McIntosh and No. 6 Max Huntley.
Michigan’s overall record is 9-1, 4-0 in the Big Ten. Its only loss was early in the season to No. 11 Oklahoma.
BOUT BY BOUT:
141: PSU #13 Jimmy Gulibon dec. ILL Mousa Jodeh, 6-1
149: PSU #1 Zain Retherford pinned ILL Kyle Langenderfer, WBF (2:10)
157: PSU #3 Jason Nolf pinned ILL #1 Isaiah Martinez, WBF (4:56)
165: ILL # 6 Steven Rodrigues dec. PSU #16 Shakur Rasheed, 10-9
174: PSU #1 Bo Nickal pinned ILL #5 Zac Brunson, WBF (6:49)
184: ILL Jeff Koepke inj. def. PSU #10 Matt McCutcheon, inj. def. 4:00
197: PSU #1 Morgan McIntosh maj. dec. ILL Andre Lee, 14-3
285: ILL #20 Brooks Black dec. PSU Jan Johnson, 6-2
125: PSU #4 Nico Megaludis tech fall ILL Francis Edelin, 24-9 (TF; 6:50)
133: ILL #2 Zane Richards dec. PSU #5 Jordan Conaway, 8-2