Jan. 10, 2009

 

Courtesy of Penn State

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa; January 10, 2009 – The Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team, ranked No. 14 in the nation, stunned No. 5 Missouri 20-19 in the opening round of the 2009 NWCA National Duals.  All-Americans Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.), Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) and Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) each posted impressive wins in the upset victory as Penn State handed the previously unbeaten Tigers their first loss.

 

In a bout where bonus points might spell the difference, Penn State had two early chances for extra points slip away.  The first was at 125, where sophomore Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) dominated Missouri’s Troy Dolan.  Pataky had a major in hand but Dolan managed a quick four-point move with just :10 left to avoid the major decision.  Pataky still one 13-9 to give Penn State an early 3-0 lead.  Then at 133, All-American Strayer nearly pinned Tyler Crane just seconds into 133, but he could not quite get the Tiger’s shoulders down after over 1:00 of effort.  Still, Strayer dominated the match and picked up five points with a 17-2 technical fall.

 

After Missouri got a win at 141, Jenkins stepped in at 149 and picked up what would be a vital pin, using his patented cement mixer in the first period to get a fall over Missouri’s Brandon Weist at the 2:04 mark.  Vallimont then downed No. 7 Michael Chandler, 3-1 in sudden victory, to push Penn State out to a 17-3 lead.  From there, it was a matter of taking care of the little things and keeping Missouri’s big guns from doing too much damage.   Penn State senior Mark Friend (Libertyville, Ill.) battled No. 8 Nick Marable to a close 6-2 decision at 165 and then head coach Troy Sunderland made the key coaching move of the bout.

 

Needing at least one more win in the final four bouts, Sunderland shifted true freshman Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 14 at 174, out of a potential match-up with No. 6 Raymond Jordan of Missouri.  Jordan got a pin at 174, cutting the Nittany Lion lead to 17-12, but Wright would post what turned out to be a dual clinching decision up at 184, downing Dorian Henderson 11-5.  With Penn State up 20-12, it was up to a senior and a freshman to hold off a strong Missouri finish.  Senior Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J), who weighed in at 184, moved up to 197 to face No. 5 Max Askren and only gave up a major decision.  Red-shirt freshman Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) notched the bout’s only takedown against No. 2 Mark Ellis of Missouri.  And while Ellis would battle his way to a hard-fought 4-2 win, Wade’s effort allowed Penn State to post the upset victory.

 

Each team won five bouts, but Penn State’s 5-4 advantage in bonus points was the difference.  The Nittany Lion dominated the match from their feet, posting an impressive 20-10 takedown advantage as well.

 

Penn State will now face No. 4 Nebraska (a 19-18 winner over No. 20 Northwestern in the first round) at 2 p.m. today in the quarterfinals .  The National Duals is a two-day event that concludes tomorrow in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  Penn State’s next home dual is set for Friday, Jan. 30, when Minnesota comes to town for a 7 p.m. dual in Rec Hall.   Single event tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth.  Penn State students get in FREE with a Penn State ID.  All Penn State dual meets and post-season action can be heard live in the Centre Region on WRSC (1390 AM State College), WHUN (1150 AM Huntingdon) and live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of the All-Access package.

 

#14 Penn State 20, #5 Missouri 19

Saturday, January 10, 2009 – UNI Dome – Cedar Falls, Iowa

 

125: Brad Pataky PSU dec. Troy Dolan MIS, 13-9                                                   3-0

133: #12 Jake Strayer PSU tech. fall Taylor Crane MIS, 17-2 (TF; 6:05)                  8-0

141: #10 Marcus Hoehn MIS dec. Frank Molinaro PSU, 7-4                                    8-3

149: #2 Bubba Jenkins PSU pinned Brandon Weist MIS, WBF (2:04)                      14-3

157: #8 Dan Vallimont PSU dec. #7 Michael Chandler MIS, 3-1 (sv)                        17-3

165: #8 Nick Marable MIS dec. Mark Friend PSU, 6-2                                            17-6

174: #6 Raymond Jordan MIS pinned Micah Bollinger PSU (WBF 2:40)                  17-12

184: #14 Quentin Wright PSU dec. Dorian Henderson MIS, 11-5                             20-12

197: #5 Max Askren MIS maj. dec. Jack Decker PSU, 15-2                         20-16

HWT: #2 Mark Ellis MIS dec. Cameron Wade PSU, 4-2                                          20-19

 

Final Score: #14 Penn State 20, #5 Missouri 19

Attendance: TBA

Records: Penn State 6-3, Missouri 11-1

Up next: Penn State vs. #4 Nebraska, 2 p.m. today

 

BOUT-BY-BOUT:

 

125:  Sophomore Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) opened up the tournament for Penn State, facing Missouri’s Troy Dolan at 125.  Pataky wasted no time in getting out to an early lead, taking down Dolan just five seconds into the bout for an early 2-0 lead.  He then put together a very strong ride, maintaining control of Dolan for over two minutes before the Tiger escaped to a 2-1 deficit.  But Pataky quickly worked around for a second takedown and, after a short ride-out, led 4-1 with 2:47 in riding time, after one period.  Dolan chose down to start the second period and Pataky held him down just long enough to push his riding time edge to over 3:00 before letting the Tiger up.  Leading 4-2 but looking for bonus points, Pataky gained control of Dolan’s head, shifted around behind him for another takedown and a 6-3 lead with 1:00 left in the second (after letting Dolan up).  Another quick high double-leg gave the Nittany Lion an 8-3 lead at the :30 mark.  After riding Dolan out, Pataky led 8-3 heading into the third period and chose neutral to start the final stanza.  Pataky quickly pushed through Dolan’s right thigh for another takedown and a 10-4 lead with 1:30 left (after letting the Tiger escape).  Needing at least one more takedown to secure a major, Pataky forced a scramble mid-mat at the 1:00 mark and, after a short tussle, got the takedown at the :39 mark to lead 12-4 with a guaranteed riding time point.  A Dolan escape with :20 lead cut the lead to 12-5. Dolan then stunned Pataky with a late takedown and two back points to cut the lead to 12-9 and avoid the major decision.  Pataky’s riding time point made the final 13-9 but Penn State led only 3-0.

 

133:  Senior All-American Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) met Tiger Tyler Crane at 133  Strayer quickly slipped both arms under Crane’s arms and tripped him directly to his back.  Nearly pinning the Tiger just :20 in, Strayer used the next minute-plus to try and break Dolan down for the fall, but the Tiger managed to work his way out from underneath the Lion co-captain.  Still, the textbook move gave Strayer a 5-0 lead before action was stopped as the mat’s scoreboard shut down.  After a delay of over 5:00, action resumed with Strayer on top and building on a 1:15 riding time edge.  Strayer chose to let Dolan up at the reset and immediately began looking for another takedown.  But Craned then took an extended timeout for blood and another long delay ensued.  Strayer notched his second takedown with :23 left.  He then rode Crane out to carry the 7-1 lead with 1:37 in riding time into the second period.  Strayer chose down to start the middle period and quickly escaped to an 8-1 lead.  Never losing contact with Crane, Strayer gained control of the Tiger’s arm for another takedown at the 1:40 mark.  He added three more back points and led 13-1 with just over 1:00 left in the period.  Continuing a dominating ride, Strayer rode Dolan for the rest of the period to lead 13-1 with a guaranteed riding time point heading to the final stanza.  Dolan chose neutral to begin the third period but was quickly taken down by Strayer.  Leading 15-1, Strayer looked to turn the Tiger for either a pin or a technical fall.  Strayer chose to let Crane up and needed one more takedown for the five point team win.  The senior wasted no time and notched the technical fall with a takedown at the :55 mark.  The 17-2 win at the 6:05 mark put Penn State up 8-0.

 

141:  One of four freshmen in the line-up for Penn State, Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) took on Missouri’s Marcus Hoehn at 141.  Hoehn, a senior, entered the bout ranked No. 10 with a 20-4 record.   Undaunted early on, Molinaro battled Hoehn evenly for the first half of the period.  But Hoehn opened up a 2-0 lead with a takedown at the midway point.  Molinaro escaped at the :58 mark to cut the lead to 2-1 and began looking for his own takedown.  But it was Hoehn who forced the next scramble, getting control of Molinaro’s right ankle and nearly scoring at the end of the period.  Molinaro worked the scramble all the way to the end of the period and trailed only 2-1 after the first period.  The Lion freshman chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 2-2 tie.  But Hoehn countered a solid Molinaro shot and notched his second takedown to lead 4-3 at the 1:20 mark after another Molinaro escape.  Molinaro looked to score on a high single, but Hoehn used solid strength to force a stalemate and maintain his 4-3 lead.  Up by one, Hoehn chose down to start the third period and steadily escaped to a 5-3 lead with 1:35 left to wrestle.  He then added a third takedown to take command of the bout, leading 7-3 with 1:16 left.  Molinaro escaped to cut the lead to 7-4 at the 1:00 mark but the Nittany Lion could not break through Hoehn’s defense and dropped the hard-fought 7-4 decision.  The Missouri win cut Penn State’s lead to 8-3.

 

149:  Nittany Lion All-American Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.), ranked No. 2 at 149, met Missouri’s Brandon Weist.   Jenkins notched his first takedown at the 2:05 mark, taking an early 2-0 lead.  Knowing the bonus points were possible, Jenkins cut Weist loose and began looking for another takedown.  Working hard on the edge of the mat, Jenkins got the second score at the 1:19 mark and cut Weist loose to a 4-2 lead.  Quickly sensing an opening on the edge of the mat, the talented Lion used a lightening-quick mixer to plant Weist to his back and get a crucial fall at the 2:04 mark.  The pin, Jenkins’ third of the year, put Penn State up 14-3.  

 

157:  In one of the dual’s most anticipated match-ups, Penn State All-American Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) met Missouri’s Michael Chandler at 157.  Vallimont was ranked No. 8 while Chandler came in ranked No. 7.  The evenly-matched pair battled for the first minute-plus before Vallimont got in on a solid high double-leg.  But Chandler managed to flee the mat and, while not getting called for fleeing, keep things scoreless early on.  But the near-score energized Vallimont and the returning All-American continued to pressure Chandler for the remainder of the period.  Tied at 0-0, Vallimont chose bottom to start the second stanza.  Chandler, however, put together a strong enough ride to build up nearly :50 in riding time before Vallimont escaped to a 1-0 lead.  Neither wrestler managed a solid scoring opportunity for the remainder of the period and Vallimont held a slim 1-0 lead heading into the final 2:00 of action.  Chandler chose down to begin the third period and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie.  Vallimont shot low on Chandler on the edge of the mat, but the Tiger countered the move and gained control of the Lions’ right leg.  Vallimont, however, was tough defensively and forced a reset with just under a minute left.  Neither grappler found an opening to score and the bout moved to a first sudden victory period tied at 1-1.  Vallimont gained control of Chandler’s right thigh and quickly pushed through for the takedown and a key 3-1 (sv) decision.  The win put Penn State up 17-3 halfway through the bout.  

 

165:  Penn State sent senior Mark Friend (Libertyville, Ill.) to the mat at 165 to take on Missouri’s Nick Marable.  Marable entered the dual ranked No. 8 in the nation.   Friend battled Marable evenly throughout the first period, keeping control of the Tiger’s shoulders and using solid defense early to keep things scoreless.  But the Nittany Lion did get called for a first stall warning in the process of working his way to a 0-0 tie after one period.  Marable chose down to begin the second period.  Friend worked his way up high on Marable’s shoulders but gave up a penalty point for locked hands and was reversed to fall behind 3-0 with 1:11 left.  A stall warning gave Marable a 4-0 lead and the Tiger began looking for back points.  Marable then got called for an illegal hold, cutting his lead to 4-1.  But still in control, the Tiger rode the Nittany Lion senior out and headed to the final period with a three-point lead and 1:11 in riding time.  Friend chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 4-2 deficit.  Friend was called for another stall and fell behind 5-2 with :42 left.  The senior battled the ranked Tiger to a 6-2 decision and Missouri cut Penn State’s lead to 17-6.

 

174:  True freshman Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 14 at 174 for Penn State, was moved up to 184 as the Nittany Lions began to jockey positions to try and grab the upset victory.  In his stead, freshman Micah Bollinger (Mifflinburg, Pa.) met No. 6 Raymond Jordan of Missouri.  Jordan was too much for the undersized Bollinger and notched two quick takedowns and a set of near fall points before pinning the Lion freshman at the 2:40 mark.  The quick six points cut the Nittany Lion lead to 17-12.

 

184:    Wright moved up to 184 where he met Missouri’s Dorian Henderson, Missouri’s starter with an 11-5 record.  Needing to secure a win to give the Nittany Lions a chance at an upset, Wright went to work on his bigger foe.  Henderson actually notched the bout’s first takedown, surprising Wright and inching out to an early 2-1 lead (after a Wright escape).  But the Nittany Lion quickly took the lead with a swift takedown and, leading 3-2, put together a very strong ride.  Building up a sizeable riding time edge, Wright rode Henderson out to lead 3-2 with a minute-plus riding time edge after one period.  Wright chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 4-2 lead.  Wright used his quickness to dart in on Henderson’s ankles and finish off a takedown to lead 6-2 with 1:34 left in the period.  A Henderson escape cut Wright’s lead to 6-3, but the Nittany Lion freshman was undaunted as he continued to pressure the bigger Tiger, looking for another opening.  With bonus points on his mind, Wright continued to look to score while Henderson fell into a defensive stance the sent the match to the third period with the Lion up 6-3.  Henderson chose neutral to begin the final period.  Wright countered a Henderson shot and notched his third takedown at the 1:30 mark.  He cut the Tiger loose and, leading 8-4, began looking for a major decision.  With a riding time point in hand, Wright needed one more takedown.  He nearly got caught and pinned by the Tiger, but showing great poise, he quickly worked his way out of trouble and broke in for a takedown and a 10-4 lead.  With :05 left, Wright cut Henderson loose but could not finish off the major decision as time ran out.  Still, the strong 11-5 decision up a weight at 184 gave the Nittany Lions a 20-12 lead with just two bouts left.

 

197:  Senior Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J.), who weighed in at 184, now moved up to 197 to face Missouri’s talented Max Askren.  Askren entered the bout ranked No. 5 nationally with a 16-2 record.  Decker looked to complete an early trip, but Askren countered the move with his own takedown and an early 2-0 lead.  Decker escaped to a 2-1 deficit but Askren notched his second takedown at the 1:05 mark to take a 4-1 lead.  Askren then added three back points to up his lead to 7-1 with nearly 2:00 of riding time heading into the second stanza.  Decker chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 7-2 deficit.  Askren then added another takedown to push his lead to 9-2 at the 1:05 mark.  The talented Tiger then turned Decker to his back and nearly pinned him at the buzzer.  But time wound out and Decker trailed 12-2 heading into the final period.  Askren chose down to start the final period, giving Decker the chance to try and work him to his back.  Decker rode Askren hard for over a minute, nearly turning the Tiger to his back twice.  While not managing to get any back points, Decker worked nearly all the period away.  Askren eventually reversed Decker, but the Nittany Lion senior did his job, keeping Askren to just a major and decision.  Missouri pulled to within four points as Penn State led 20-16 heading into the final bout.

 

HWT:  Nittany Lion Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Pa.), a red-shirt freshman, met No. 2 Mark Ellis of Missouri at heavyweight.  Ellis entered the bout with a superb 20-1 record.  Wade’s task was simple, clinch the upset team win with an upset of his own, or keep the bout to a major or less.  With Penn State owning the edge in the dual meet tie-breaker, a 20-20 tie would result in Penn State advancing to the next round.  Ellis had the first real scoring chance of the bout, gaining control of Wade’s right ankle at the midway point of the opening stanza.  But the hard-working Lion freshman forced a scramble and eventually worked his way around behind Ellis and picked up his own takedown at the :30 mark.  Wade then rode Ellis out to lead 2-0 after one period.  Ellis chose down to start the second period and quickly reversed Wade to tie the bout at 2-2.  The Tiger then rode Wade, forcing him into a first stall warning, but could not turn the Lion freshman to his back.  Tied at 2-2, Wade chose down to begin the final period, needing an escape to take the lead.  But Ellis managed to ride Wade long enough to build up a sizeable riding time edge and, after another Wade stall, Ellis moved out to a 3-2 lead.  Ellis worked hard from the top to try and turn Wade and steal a team victory, but Wade was able to maintain himself and was never in any danger of being turned.  Wade did everything his coaching staff asked of him and kept the No. 2 ranked wrestler to just a 4-2 decision.  The outstanding freshman effort helped the Nittany Lions seize a 20-19 upset victory over the fifth-ranked Tigers.

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Nittany Lions Almost Upset No. 4 Nebraska

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa; January 10, 2009 – Fresh off an upset of No. 5 Missouri in the first round of the 2009 National Duals, the Nittany Lions took to the mats against yet another Big 12 power, this time nearly upsetting No. 4 Nebraska.  Penn State won the first four bouts and bolted out toe a 16-0 lead, but Nebraska won the last six bouts and, with a last second win at heavyweight, staved off the Nittany Lion upset bid to post a 20-16 win and remain undefeated on the year.

 

            Mirroring its fast start against Missouri in the opening round, Penn State won the first four bouts to bolt out to a 16-0 lead.  Sophomore Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) set a blistering pace for Penn State, getting a pin in just :12 at 125 to put the Lions up 6-0 early.  All-American Jake Strayer (South fork, Pa.) followed with a win at 133 and freshman Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) got a key victory at 141.  All-American Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) then got a major at 149 and the Lions were up 16-0.

 

Nebraska, however, stormed back, to win the next five and set up a showdown at heavyweight.No.2  Jordan Burroughs downed No. 8 Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) 10-4 at 157 to start a run that saw the Huskers also win at 165, 174, 184 and 197.  The bout at 174 was a thrilling one as Nebraska senior Brandon Browne, ranked No. 2, was nearly upset by Nittany Lion freshman Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.).  Browne escaped with a 3-1 win. With the dual on the line, red-shirt freshman Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) took on No. 17 Tucker Lane at heavyweight and battled the ranked Husker evenly until the final seconds of the bout.  Lane scored the bout’s only takedown with :40 left to steal the win and help Nebraska fight off the upset bid.

 

            Penn State will now face the  winner of the No. 17 Michigan/No. 21 Northern Iowa consolation match tonight at 6 p.m.  The National Duals is a two-day event that concludes tomorrow in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

 

Penn State’s next home dual is set for Friday, Jan. 30, when Minnesota comes to town for a 7 p.m. dual in Rec Hall.   Single event tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for youth.  Penn State students get in FREE with a Penn State ID.  All Penn State dual meets and post-season action can be heard live in the Centre Region on WRSC (1390 AM State College), WHUN (1150 AM Huntingdon) and live at www.GoPSUsports.com as part of the All-Access package.

 

#14 Penn State 16, #4 Nebraska 20

Saturday, January 10, 2009 – UNI Dome – Cedar Falls, Iowa

 

125: Brad Pataky PSU pinned Andy Pokorny NEB, WBF (0:12)                               6-0

133: #12 Jake Strayer PSU dec. Patrick Aleksanyan, 11-6                                        9-0

141: Frank Molinaro PSU dec. Jon Burns NEB, 7-4                                     12-0

149: #2 Bubba Jenkins PSU maj. dec. Curtis Salazar NEB, 14-5                               16-0

157: #2 Jordan Burroughs NEB dec. #8 Dan Vallimont PSU, 10-4                            16-3

165: #7 Stephen Dwyer NEB dec. Mark Friend PSU, 7-3                                         16-6

174: #2 Brandon Browne NEB dec. #14 Quentin Wright PSU, 3-1               16-9

184: #14 Vince Jones NEB dec. Jack Decker PSU, 11-4                                          16-12

197: #1 Craig Brester NEB tech. fall Clay Steadman PSU, 20-5 (7:00)                      16-17

HWT: #17 Tucker Lane NEB dec. Cameron Wade PSU, 4-2                                   16-20

 

Final Score: #14 Penn State 16, #4 Nebraska 20

Attendance: TBA

Records: Penn State 6-4, Nebraska 8-0

Up next: Penn State vs. No. 17 Michigan or No. 21 Northern Iowa

 

BOUT-BY-BOUT:

125:  Penn State sophomore Brad Pataky (Clearfield, Pa.) started the dual off for Penn State once again, facing Nebraska’s Andy Pokorny at 125.  This one lasted a heartbeat as Pataky quickly caught Pokorny in a mixer and summarily tossed him to his back, planting him for a fall in only 0:12 seconds.  The fast start gave the Nittany Lions a 6-0 lead.

 

133:  Nittany Lion All-American Jake Strayer (South Fork, Pa.) met Nebraska’s Patrick Aleksanyan at 133.  Strayer, ranked No. 12, nearly gave up an early takedown to Aleksanyan, but the veteran Nittany Lion fought off the move to keep things even early on.  Aleksanyan did get the first takedown shortly thereafter, however, taking a 2-1 lead after a Strayer escape midway through the period.  Down by one, Strayer chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 2-2 tie.  The then gained control of the Husker’s left ankle and took the lead with a takedown at the 1:40 mark.  The senior then controlled the action from the top, keeping Aleksanyan down and under control for most of the period before Aleksanyan escaped to a 4-3 deficit.  Strayer then gained control of the Husker senior and worked his way around him to notch a last second takedown and lead 6-3 heading into the final period.  Aleksanyan chose down to begin the final period, needing a quick escape to keep Strayer from building on a 1:06 riding time edge.  But Strayer once again controlled the action from the top, maintaining his advantage until the 1:15 mark.  Aleksanyan escaped to a 6-4 deficit, but Strayer continued to pressure the Husker and worked his magic on the edge of the mat for a third takedown and an 8-4 lead with 0:43 left.  Aleksanyan added another escape, but Strayer quickly pounced for another takedown and, after cutting the Husker loose at the :15 mark to lead 10-6, Strayer ran out of time in his quest for a major.  Still, the solid 11-6 decision put the Nittany Lions up 9-0.

 

141:  Red-shirt freshman Frank Molinaro (Barnegat, N.J.) took on Nebraska's Jon  Burns in a key battle at 141.  Burns nearly got the first takedown of the bout, but Molinaro, like Strayer before him, worked his way out of trouble to keep things scoreless early on.  The talented Husker freshmen countered each early Molinaro shot to generate his own offense, but neither wrestler broke into the scoring column until Molinaro completed a high single, lifted Burns off the mat, and got the go-ahead takedown at the 1:15 mark.  Molinaro then dominated Burns for the final minute-plus, riding the Husker out to carry a 2-0 lead with 1:15 in riding time into the second period.  The Nittany Lion freshman chose down to start the middle stanza and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead while maintaining his riding time edge.  Another high single led to another Molinaro takedown with 1:15 left as the New Jersey native once again lifted Burns off the mat and put him to the mat for a 5-0 lead.  Burns escaped to a 5-1 deficit with :33 left and action moved to the center circle after a reset.  Trailing 5-1 heading into the final period, Burns chose down to start the last session, escaping quickly to a 5-2 deficit.  Burns got his first takedown on the edge of the mat with 1:35 left, cutting the Nittany Lion’s lead to 5-4.  Burns let Molinaro up and the Nittany Lion led 6-4 with 1:30 left (and had a 1:47 riding time edge).  Burns upped the tempo, looking for an opening, but Molinaro countered his shots and used his upper body strength to keep the Husker from adding another takedown.  Molinaro, with the riding time point, posted a convincing 7-4 decision and put the Nittany Lions up 12-0 after three bouts.

 

149:  Penn State All-American Bubba Jenkins (Virginia Beach, Va.) took on Nebraska’s Curtis Salazar 149.  Jenkins got a takedown at the 2:30 mark to open up an early 2-1 lead and continued to pressure the Husker sophomore, getting a second takedown less than :30 later to move out to a 4-1 lead.  This time, Jenkins did not cut the Husker loose but added a two point near-fall to lead 6-1 midway through the period.  Jenkins cut Salazar loose after a reset and added a third takedown at the 1:04 mark to lead 8-3 after a Salazar escape.  The senior co-captain added a fourth takedown as the first period wound down to lead 10-3 after just three minutes of action.  Jenkins chose down to start the second stanza and, after a solid Salazar ride, Jenkins escaped to an 11-3 lead.  Seeking to cement some  bonus points, Jenkins countered a late Salazar shot to get a takedown as the second period ended to carry a 13-3 lead into the third stanza.  Salazar chose down to start the final period, but Jenkins proceeded to grind him down over the course of the period.  Jenkins tried a late cement mixer that Salazar turned into a reversal, but the damage was done and Jenkins posted a convincing 14-5 major decision.  The victory put Penn State up 16-0.

 

157:  In the tournament’s marquee match-up, Penn State All-American Dan Vallimont (Lake Hopatcong, N.J.) took on Nebraska All-American Jordan Burroughs at 157.  Burroughs was undefeated at a 14-0 and ranked No. 2 while Vallimont was ranked No. 8.  Burroughs wasted no time in opening up a lead, tripping Vallimont at the opening whistle to lead 2-1 less than :30 into the bout.  Burroughs added a second takedown at the 1:00 mark to move out to a 4-2 lead after a quick Vallimont escape.  Up by two, Burroughs chose down to begin the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-2 lead.  Vallimont looked to get his offense going, but Burroughs countered his shot with :40 left to take command of the bout with another takedown.  Vallimont could not escape Burroughs and found himself trailing 7-2 heading into the final period.  Vallimont chose down to start the third stanza and was allowed out to a 7-3 deficit.  But Burroughs would not be denied, taking Vallimont down once more on the edge of the mat to lead 9-4 (after letting the Nittany Lion up).  Burroughs needed one more takedown and a ride out to secure a major decision (he had 1:21 in riding time as well).  Vallimont managed to battle him evenly over the bout’s final seconds and Burroughs posted a convincing 10-4 decision.  The win cut Penn State’s lead to 16-3.

 

165:  Penn State senior Mark Friend (Libertyville, Ill.) took to the mat at 165 against No. 7 Stephen Dwyer of Nebraska.  Dwyer got the first takedown at the 2:30 mark, taking an early 2-1 lead after letting Friend loose.  The ranked Husker then added a second takedown to lead 4-1 with 1:54 left in the opening period. A Friend escape cut the lead to 4-2 and action moved to the middle of the mat.  Friend stepped up his pressure late in the first period, gaining control of Dwyer’s shoulders and forcing the Husker towards the edge of the mat on a number of occasions.  Trailing 4-2, Friend chose down to begin the second period, but could not work his way out of Dwyer’s control.  Dwyer rode Friend for the entire period and led 4-2 with 2:15 in riding time.  Dwyer chose down to begin the third period and quickly reversed the Nittany Lion to up his lead to 6-2 with 1:40 left.  Friend escaped to a 6-3 deficit with 1:15 left and Dwyer began looking for bonus points.  But the savvy Friend was able to hold the Husker off, only giving up the regular decision.  The 7-3 Nebraska win cut Penn State’s lead to 16-6.

 

174:  Nittany Lion Quentin Wright (Wingate, Pa.), ranked No. 14 nationally at 174, faced his toughest competition to date as a true freshman, taking on No. 2 Brandon Browne, a returning All-American.  Not backing off, Wright worked the center of the mat against the Nebraska senior, looking for a chance to score early.  While Wright could not break through Browne’s defenses, neither did the All-American Husker.  The action continued evenly for the duration of the first session, although Wright was hit with a first stall warning.  With the scored tied 0-0, Browne chose down to start the middle stanza and escaped to a 1-0 lead at the 1:35 mark.  Brown gained control of Wright’s left thigh with a high single and notched the bout’s first takedown at the :40 mark to take a 3-0 lead.  Wright could not break free of Browne’s ride and trailed 3-0 after two periods.  The true freshman chose down to start the final period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 deficit.  The Bald Eagle Area grad then turned into the Nebraska senior and looked to tie the bout with a takedown.  But the veteran Browned was able to keep Wright from tying the match with solid defense until under 1:00 remained.  Wright continued to pressure Browne, forcing the Husker senior towards the edge of the mat.  But with little time left and no stall warnings called on Browne, time ran out on Wright’s upset bid and Browne got away with a hard-fought 3-1 decision.  The victory pulled Nebraska to within seven, 16-9, with three bouts remaining.

 

184:  Senior Jack Decker (Roseland, N.J.) met No. 14 Vince Jones of Nebraska at 184.  Decker and Jones battled evenly throughout the bulk of the first period, not giving Jones a single opening for the opening three minutes.  Jones chose down to start the second period and quickly reversed Decker to take a 2-1 lead (after a quick Decker escape) at the 1:35 mark.  Decker continued to battle the ranked Husker, however, keeping action in the middle of the mat while working Jones’ upper body.  But Jones finally broke through with a takedown on the edge of the mat to lead 4-1 with under a minute to wrestle in the second period.  Decker escaped with :35 left to cut the Jones lead to 4-2 and immediately began working the Husker’s shoulders again.  But Jones was able to gain control of both Decker’s ankles on the edge of the mat as the period ended to lead 6-2 heading into the final stanza.  Decker chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 6-3 deficit.  Jones shot low on Decker and, after a scramble in front of the Nebraska bench, got another takedown to lead 8-4 after a Decker escape.  Browne added on more takedown and then rode Decker out to post an 11-4 decision, cutting Penn State’s lead to 16-12.

 

197:  Red-shirt freshman Clay Steadman (McKean, Pa.) faced No. 1 Craig Brester of Nebraska at 197.  Brester wasted no time in opening up an early lead, taking Steadman down seconds into the bout, cutting him loose and then taking him down a second time to lead 4-2 just :30 into the bout. Brester added one more takedown and a ride-out in the first period to lead 7-2 after one period.  Brester chose neutral to start the second period and then took Steadman down to lead 9-3 after a Steadman escape.  He added another takedown to up his lead to 11-3 with 1:00 left in the middle stanza.  Steadman gave up a stall point and trailed 12-3 heading into the final period.  Steadman chose down to start the third period, escaped, but was taken down by the top-ranked Husker to fall behind 14-4.  Brester added three back points and then cut Steadman loose to work towards a technical fall (leading 17-5 with a riding time point in hand).  Brester added one more takedown, rode Steadman out and, with the riding time point, posted the 20-5 technical fall at the 7:00 mark.  Nebraska took the lead 17-16 with the five point win.

 

HWT:  With the match on the line, Penn State freshman Cameron Wade (Twinsburg, Ohio) met No. 17 Tucker Lane of Nebraska at heavyweight.  After a strong performance in his opening round match-up with Missouri’s Mark Ellis, who was ranked No. 2, Wade looked to set the pace early and help Penn State score a second straight upset of a top-five Big 12 team.  Wade used his size to press Lane backwards, forcing the Husker towards the edge of the mat over the first half of the opening period.  Wade and Lane battled evenly, with neither man finding an opening to score as the period ended.  Tied 0-0, Lane chose down to start the second period, but Wade was able to take command from the top position, working to turn the Husker for back points.  But Lane quickly reversed Wade after a reset to take a 2-1 lead after a quick Wade escape.  Now trailing by one, Wade looked for a go-ahead takedown with :20 left in the second period.  Lane held Wade off to keep his lead at 2-1 after two periods.  Wade chose down to start the final period and steadily worked himself free to a 2-2 tie with an escape at the 1:35 mark.  With riding time not an issue, the next takedown would decide the victor in both the bout and the dual.  Lane shot low on Wade with :45 left, Wade countered and nearly worked his way behind the ranked Husker, but Lane was able to regain control and secure the takedown to take a 4-2 lead.  Lane then rode Wade out to secure a 4-2 win and help the No. 4 ranked Huskers stave off the Penn State upset, taking a 20-16 win.