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Penn State wrestlers dominate Northwestern

file photo from Tim Weight

UNIVERSITY PARK – What a difference a day makes.

After an unexpected struggle against Illinois, the Penn State wrestling team bounced back in a big way – dominating Northwestern 30-9 in a Big Ten matchup Sunday afternoon at Rec Hall.

Roman Bravo-Young and Vincenzo Joseph returned to the lineup and sparked the Nittany Lions to the 30-9 Big Ten victory over the Wildcats Sunday afternoon at Rec Hall.

Penn State won seven bouts with four being bonus-point victories. The Nittany Lions rung up three technical falls, a pin, and three regular decisions to improve to 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Big Ten.

“Whatever coach Cody (Sanderson), Casey (Cunningham) and (Jake) Varner did, it worked pretty well,” Penn State coach CaelSanderson joked. “I think I’ll be gone all the time. You keep plugging away. You stay positive and optimistic. Negativity never really solves any problems, so it’s just part of the process.”

Bravo-Young exploded for nine takedowns in a 23-8 technical fall in 6:26 over Dylan Utterback at 133 to kick off the dual. The win set the tone for Penn State the rest of the way.

Not to be out done, Nick Lee followed with seven takedowns, five in the first period, to record the 20-5 technical fall in 5:51 over Alec McKenna at 141 pounds.

Penn State made it 13-0 when Jarod Verkleeren picked up two takedowns in the first and an escape, takedown and riding-time point in the third for the 8-2 win over Eric Yang at 149.

Bo Pipher, filling in most of the season for the injured Brady Berge, gave No. 1 Ryan Deakin everything he had in a 6-0 loss at 157.

“We know Bo is pretty darn good. He fought hard and got into some tough scrambles,” Sanderson said. “Deakin is, I think No. 1 in the country right now, he’s obviously very good. We believe in Bo and think he can win big matches.”

Top-ranked Joseph, back in the lineup after missing the Illinois match, got the crowd back in it with a dominating victory over Shayne Oster at 165. The Nittany Lion senior scored the quick takedown, secured the cradle and rolled Oster to his back for the fall in 56 seconds giving Penn state the 19-3 lead at the break.

For his efforts, Joseph received the Ridge Riley Award for outstanding wrestler of the dual meet.

Mark Hall kept the PSU train rolling with a 17-2 tech fall in 5:21 over Tyler Morland at 174. Hall had three takedowns, a reversal and eight nearfall points.

Creighton Edsell bumped up to 184 for the banged-up Aaron Brooks and won a hard-fought 4-1 decision over Jack Jessen clinching the dual for Penn State. The Wyalusing high school standout went into the third period trailing 1-0. He chose down, picked up the escape and scored the lone takedown in a scramble with 1:03 left in regulation. A riding time point for Edsell closed out the scoring.

At 197, Shakur Rasheed, making only his second start of the season, gave up a late takedown with 20 seconds to go, dropping a 7-5 decision to Lucas Davison.

The Nittany Lions picked up their final victory of the day when newly minted heavyweight Seth Nevills defeated Jack Heyob 8-1 for the 30-6 lead.

Brandon Meredith put on another gutty performance but came up on the short end of a 7-3 decision to seventh-ranked Michael DeAugustino at 125 pounds.

“I think the energy level was a little bit better,” Sanderson said, “A little more fire out there, which is important as we get moving forward. We have things we can work on, that’s never going to change, but the important thing is still to wrestle with some passion.”

Penn State won the takedown battle 28-5. The Nittany Lions are off until next Sunday when they host Rutgers at Rec Hall. Match time is 5 p.m.

#2 Penn State 30, #12 Northwestern 9

January 12, 2020 – Rec Hall – University Park, Pa.

133: #3 Roman Bravo-Young PSU tech fall Dylan UtterbackNU, 23-8 (TF; 6:26)            

141: #2 Nick Lee PSU tech fall Alec McKenna NU, 20-5 (TF; 4:51)                                  

149: Jarod Verkleeren PSU dec. Eric Yang NU, 8-2                                                      

157: #1 Ryan Deakin NU dec. Bo Pipher PSU, 6-0                                                          

165: #1 Vincenzo Joseph PSU pinned Shayne Oster NU, WBF (0:56)                              

174: #1 Mark Hall PSU tech fall Tyler Morland NU, 17-2 (TF; 5:21)                                  

184: Creighton Edsell PSU dec. Jack Jessen NU, 4-1                                                    

197: Lucas Davison NU dec. Shakur Rasheed PSU, 7-5                                                  

285: Seth Nevills PSU dec. Jack Heyob NU, 8-1                                                            

125: #7 Michael DeAugustino NU dec. Brandon Meredith PSU, 7-3                                

Records: Penn State (5-1, 2-0 B1G); Northwestern (2-3, 0-2 B1G)

Up Next for Penn State: Sunday, Jan. 19, at home vs. Rutgers, 5 p.m. in Rec Hall

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