Fifth-ranked Ohio State takes seven of 10 matches to defeat sixth-ranked Illinois
OAK HARBOR, Ohio -- In front of a sold-out crowd at Oak Harbor High School, No. 5 Ohio State beat No. 6 Illinois 25-9 on Friday night. The Buckeyes won seven matches, including a pin by 133-pounder Logan Stieber in his first return to action since December.
The Buckeyes reeled off four consecutive wins en route to the team victory. After falling behind early 3-0, following an 8-1 setback for senior Nikko Triggas at 125 pounds, Stieber returned to top form, pinning eighth-ranked Daryl Thomas in 2 minutes, 4 seconds. The fall served as Stieber's ninth of the season. Hunter Stieber, Ohio State's 141-pounder, garnered his team-leading 24th victory of the season when he recorded a 10-2 major decision against Stephen Rodrigues. Stieber jumped out to a 7-1 lead after the first period and increased his advantage to 9-1 in the second frame courtesy of a reversal. Rodrigues scored an escape in the third period to end the match.
Cam Tessari (149 pounds) lifted the Buckeyes to a 13-3 lead after a 6-1 win against Caleb Ervin. Tessari owned a 5-0 shutout until an escape by Ervin in the third period. However, Tessari's lead was too much to overcome and he accrued 2:45 of riding time for the victory. Up next at 157 pounds, Josh Demas recorded a 10-3 decision vs. Matt Nora. Up 5-0 entering the third period, Demas scored a pair of takedowns compared to Nora's trio of escapes for his 15th win of the season.
Coming back from a brief intermission, the Scarlet and Gray dropped its first match at 165 pounds since the 125-pound bout. Freshman Mark Martin lost a close 2-0 decision to No. 8 Conrad Polz, where an escape and riding time proved to be the difference. However, Nick Heflin (174) put the Buckeyes back in the win column in dramatic fashion, downing No. 8 Jordan Blanton 2-1 in sudden victory. An escape by Blanton in the third period tied the score and forced the bout into overtime. In the sudden victory, Heflin scored a takedown with 21 seconds left on the clock to secure his 10th win of the season and give Ohio State a 19-6 lead.
Hometown favorite C. J. Magrum suffered a tough 2-1 loss to No. 20 Tony Dallago at 184 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Dallago's escape, coupled with a pair of stalling calls on Magrum and riding time was sufficient for the 2-1 win by Dallago.
Behind a pair of early 3-point nearfalls, freshman Kenny Courts took command of his match vs. No. 13 Mario Gonzalez and was up 11-4 at the conclusion of the second period. However, Gonzalez cut the deficit to three before Courts notched an escape for a 12-8 advantage. Despite another stalling call on Courts to make the score 12-9, Courts has amassed 1:03 of riding time for the 13-9 win.
Heavyweight Peter Capone concluded Ohio State's night with a 2-0 victory vs. Chris Lopez. An escape in the second period and 1:56 of riding time gave Capone his 17th win of the season.