No. 2 Penn State throttles rival Pitt
Taylor records 23rd bonus-point victory to lead Lions’ romp
Penn State Athletics
University Park, Pa. – No. 2 Penn State dominated No. 22 Pittsburgh in front of more than 5,500 fans in a packed Rec Hall Friday as the Nittany Lions won eight of 10 bouts, including the night’s two marquee match-ups at 141 and heavyweight.
With the dominant performance, PSU earned a 30-7 non-conference win and improved to 12-0 on the year. With the win, the Nittany Lions tied the best start in school history, matching the 1971-72 team that finished the year with a 12-0 record.
Pitt picked up an early win at 125 pounds as Penn State gave senior Brad Pataky, ranked No. 11, the night off. The Panthers got a major from Anthony Zanetta over Eric Caschera to take an early lead.
Nittany Lion sophomore Andrew Long, ranked No. 5 at 133, answered with a 17-5 major decision against Pitt’s Shelton Mack to tie the score.
True freshman Andrew Alton notched an early win by dominating No. 7 Tyler Nauman 8-4 at 141 to give Penn State a lead it would never relinquish. Two-time All-American Frank Molinaro, ranked No. 5 nationally, picked up an 8-2 win at 149 pounds and undefeated freshman No. 3 David Taylor notched a 26-11 technical fall against Pitt’s Donnie Tasser at 157 to give Penn State a 15-4 lead at intermission.
Pitt’s Ethan Headlee improved to 21-8 on the year with a tough 4-0 win over Penn State’s Jake Kemerer at 165. Penn State had the quick answer as second-ranked freshman Ed Ruth pinned Andy Vaughn at the 5:45 mark in their 174 pound match to put Penn State up 21-7.
All-American Quentin Wright, ranked No. 6 at 184, tacked on a hard-fought 12-7 win against 20-bout winner Max Thomusseit and true freshman Nick Ruggear posted a solid 4-2 win against Pitt’s Phil Sorentino at 197 pounds.
The dual ended at heavyweight in a battle of top-six grapplers. Penn State’s Cameron Wade, ranked No. 6, notched a first-period takedown and then used a full second-period ride to down No. 3 Ryan Tomei 3-2 to thrill the Penn State faithful and cap the dominating evening.
Penn State won the takedown battle 23-12 and posted a 6-1 edge in bonus points. Taylor’s technical fall at 157 gave the Lion freshman 23 bonus wins on the year (major, TF or pin), which is ninth all-time in a single season at Penn State.