InterMat Wrestling – Penn State crushes Northwestern in Big Ten opener

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EVANSTON, Ill. — No. 1 Penn State (5-0, 1-0 B1G) opened up Big Ten dual meet action with a convincing win at No. 11 Northwestern (2-5, 0-2 B1G) on Friday night. The Nittany Lions, under the direction of veteran head coach Cael Sanderson, rolled to a 33-8 victory for their 50th straight dual meet win.

Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.) hit the 100-career win mark with a 19-7 victory over No. 3 Ryan Deakin of Northwestern at 157. Nolf had eight takedowns in the marquee match-up, with all of Deakin’s points coming via escape.

The dual began at where sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) took on No. 1 Sebastien Rivera of Northwestern to start the dual meet. Rivera posted a strong 18-2 technical fall at the 2:53 mark to give Northwestern an early 5-0 lead. True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 14 at 133, posted a 15-9 win over NU’s Colin Valdiviez to cut the lead to 5-3 and then sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 4 at 141, rolled to a 16-6 major over Alex McKenna to put Penn State on top 7-5.

Redshirt freshman Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 9 at 149, rolled up nine takedowns in a strong 19-7 major over junior Shayne Oster to put the Nittany Lions up 11-5. Nolf closed out the first half by picking up his 100th career win with a dominating 19-7 major over No.3 Deakin at 157. Nolf’s career milestone sent Penn State into intermission leading 15-5.

Sophomore Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) moved up a weight to 165 to step in for top-ranked Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.) who did not wrestle. Pipher dropped a hard-fought 11-9 decision to Tyler Moreland, having a late comeback fall just short. Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 1 at 174, took care of Wildcat Senior Johnny Sebastian, scoring the only takedowns in a strong 10-4 win. Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 3 at 184, rolled up three first period turns as he posted an 18-2 technical fall over Brendan Devin, getting the final takedown midway through the second period at the 3:59 mark.

Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, notched his 51st career pin, and his team-leading 10th of the year, with a fall over Zack Chakonis at the 6:12 mark. Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 4 at 285, closed out the dual by dominating No. 19 Conan Jennings, collecting five takedowns in a dominating 12-3 major over the ranked Wildcat. Cassar’s capstone win made finished off Penn State’s impressive 33-8 victory.

Penn State had 51 takedowns in the bout, rolling to a 51-7 lead. The Nittany Lions won eight of ten bouts, marking the first time all year Penn State lost more than one match in a dual. Penn State picked up nine bonus points off a pin (Nickal), a tech fall (Rasheed) and four majors (Lee, Berge, Nolf, Cassar). Penn State has now outscored its first five dual meet opponents 210-17 and has a stunning 132-12 takedown advantage in those duals. The Lions have won 45 of their 50 dual meet bouts.

The Nittany Lions have now won 50-straight dual meets dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. Sanderson’s Lions won their last dual of that campaign, went 16-0 in 2015-16, went 14-0 in 2016-17 and went 14-0 in 2017-18. Penn State is now 5-0, 1-0 B1G, while Northwestern falls to 2-5, 0-2 B1G. Penn State will return to action quickly, hosting No. 19 Wisconsin on Sunday, Jan. 13, in Rec Hall. The dual meet is set for a 1 p.m. start.

Penn State Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at @pennstateWREST, on Penn State Wrestling’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling and on Instagram at www.instagram.com/pennstatewrest. This is PENN STATE. WRESTLING lives here.

Results:

125: #1 Sebastian Rivera NU tech fall Devin Schnupp PSU, 18-2 (TF; 2:53) 0-5

133: #14 Roman Bravo-Young PSU dec. Colin Valdiviez NU, 15-9 3-5

141: #4 Nick Lee PSU maj. dec. Colin Valdiviez NU, 16-6 7-5

149: #9 Brady Berge PSU maj. dec. Shayne Oster NU, 19-7 11-5

157: #1 Jason Nolf PSU maj. dec. #3 Ryan Deakin NU, 19-7 15-5

165: Tyler Moreland NU dec. Bo Pipher PSU, 11-9 15-8

174: #1 Mark Hall PSU dec. Johnny Sebastian NU, 10-4 18-8

184: #3 Shakur Rasheed PSU tech fall Brendan Devine NU, 18-2 (TF; 3:59) 23-8

197: #1 Bo Nickal PSU pinned Zack Chakonis NU, WBF (6:12) 29-8

285: #4 Anthony Cassar PSU maj. dec. #19 Conan Jennings NU, 12-3 33-8

Attendance: 1,810

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

Up Next for Penn State: Home vs. #19 Wisconsin, Sunday, Jan. 13, 1 p.m., Rec Hall

BOUT-BY-BOUT:

125: Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) took to the mat for Penn State to take on No. 1 Sebastian Rivera of Northwestern. Rivera scored quickly, taking Schnupp down at the 2:40 mark to open up an early lead. Rivera then turned Schnupp for four back points to take a 6-0 lead. He then turned Schnupp for four more points and cut him loose to a 10-1 score. Rivera notched another takedown, Schnupp escaped and Rivera took him down again. He finished of the tech fall with another turn and posted the 18-2 win at the 2:53 mark.

133: True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.), ranked No. 14 at 133, met Colin Valdiviez. Bravo-Young quickly took Valdiviez down to open up an early 2-1 lead. The Lion added a second takedown and cut the Wildcat loose to a 4-2 score. He then quickly notched a third takedown to open up a 6-3 lead and finished the first period on top with a fourth takedown. The period ended with Bravo-Young on top but a reversal was awarded to Valdiviez. Penn State challenged the call but it was confirmed and Bravo-Young led 8-5 after one. Valdiviez chose down to start the second period and escaped, but Bravo-Young quickly took him down to lead 10-7 at the 1:10 mark. Bravo-Young’s offense was relentless and he notched his sixth takedown to lead 12-7 with :30 on the clock. Valdiviez escaped with :12 on the clock and Bravo-Young led 12-8 after two. The Lion chose neutral to start the final period and pushed the scored to 14-9 with :30 left with another takedown. Nearly 3:00 in riding time gave Bravo-Young the extra point and a 15-9 win.

141: Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 4 at 141, took on Northwestern’s Alec McKenna. Lee scored quickly, notching a first takedown to open up an early lead. He cut McKenna loose and quickly took him down again to lead 4-2. Lee scored just seconds later to up his margin to 6-2 with 1:05 on the clock. Lee maintained control for the rest of the period and led 6-2 with nearly 2:00 in riding time after one. Lee chose down to start the second period and quickly turned the tables on McKenna for a reversal and an 8-2 lead. He cut McKenna loose and then notched his fourth takedown at the 1:00 mark. After cutting McKenna loose, he quickly took him down again and led 12-4 with :40 left in the period. Lee finished in control, picking up a stall point along the way, to lead 13-4 with 2:49 in time after two. McKenna chose down to start the third period and Lee notched two takedowns to open up a 15-6 lead. He tacked another point with 2:42 to post the 16-6 major.

149: Redshirt freshman Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn.), ranked No. 9 at 149, met Wildcat junior Shane Oster. Berge continued Penn State’s strong offense, rolling up two quick takedowns to open up an early 4-2 lead. The Lion freshman continued to pressure Oster and he pushed his lead up to 8-4 with :20 left. Not satisfied, the Lion freshman then finished off a fifth takedown with a low double to lead 10-4 with nearly 1:30 in riding time after the opening period. Oster chose down to start the second period and escaped, only to quickly be taken down again by Berge. Berge cut Oster loose with 1:10 on the clock and then finished off a seventh takedown with :20 on the clock to lead 14-6 with over 2:00 in time after two periods. Berge chose neutral to start the third period. He took Oster down and led 16-7, forced a stall warning, and then finished on top with a final takedown. With 2:59 in riding time added on, Berge rolled to the 19-7 major.

157: Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, met No. 3 Ryan Deaken in one of the dual’s most anticipated match-ups. Nolf quickly established a lead, notching two takedowns in just :40 to lead 4-2 before a minute had passed. Nolf was consistently on attack, notching a third takedown at the 1:30 mark and then a fourth with just 1:05 left in the period. Nolf picked up his fifth takedown with a swift low double with just seconds left and led 10-4 after one. Deakin chose down to start the second period and Nolf let up him to a 10-5 score. Nolf then quickly blitzed in for another takedown to lead 12-5 with 1:30 on the clock. Nolf cut Deakin loose a sixth time with 1:10 on the clock and then quickly turned a low double into another takedown and a 14-6 lead with 1:00 left in the period. He added another takedown with :20 left and finished on top to lead 16-7 with 1:33 in time after two. Nolf chose down to start the third period and forced a stall warning trying to escape. Deakin continued to stall on top, giving Nolf a point, and then a second stall point, to lead 18-7. Deakin was able to stall his way through control in the third period, giving yet another penalty point on a locked hands. Nolf’s dominant performance gave the Lion a 19-7 major and his 100th career victory.

165: Sophomore Bo Pipher (Paonia, Colo.) moved up a weight to 165, stepping in for top ranked Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), who did not wrestle. Pipher battled Wildcat Tyler Moreland. Pipher countered an early Moreland shot, forcing a stalemate at the 2:10 mark. Moreland shot low and, after a short scramble, took a 2-0 lead with a takedown. Pipher escaped to a 2-1 score with 1:30 on the clock. Moreland notched a second takedown but locked his hands and Pipher trailed 4-3 after an escape with :35 on the clock. Leading 4-3, Moreland chose down to start the second period. Pipher was able to break the Wildcat down and maintain control until Moreland escaped at the 1:20 mark. Moreland notched a third takedown to lead 7-4 after a Pipher escape and action resumed in the center of the mat. Moreland finished on top with another double leg takedown and led 9-4 after two. Pipher chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 9-5 score. Pipher then blew through a strong high shot for his first takedown and trailed 10-7 after cutting Moreland loose. Pipher battled for another takedown with :40 left, cut Moreland loose and began looking for a tying takedown with :15 left to wrestle. Moreland gave up a stall warning as he moved away and Pipher’s late comeback fell just short with Moreland posting an 11-9 win.

174: Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn., ranked No. 1 at 174, battled senior Johnny Sebastian. Hall worked the middle of the mat as he looked for shoulder control early on. Hall then shot low on the edge of the mat to post his first takedown at the 1:04 mark to lead 2-0. Hall then controlled the action for the rest of the period to lead 2-0 with over 1:00 in riding time after the opening stanza. Leading by two, Hall chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. Hall then worked Sebastian’s head to the mat, moved around and picked up a second takedown to lead 5-0 with :40 on the clock. He once again finished on top and led 5-0 with 1:53 in riding time after two periods. Sebastian chose down to start the third period and Hall cut him loose to a 5-1 score. Hall gave up a penalty point on hands to the face. He forced a scramble on the edge of the mat and appeared to have a takedown but the call was not made. The officials huddled quickly and went to review where the takedown was awarded, giving Hall a 7-2 lead with a clinched riding time point. Sebastian escaped with :50 on the clock. Hall added one final takedown and, with 2:17 in time, posted the 10-4 decision.

184: Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 3 at 184, took on freshman Brendan Devine. Rasheed wasted no time in opening up a big lead. The Lion took Devine down just seconds into the bout and cut him loose quickly. He picked up a quick second takedown to lead 4-1 and then went to work on top. A two-on-one tilt led to a four-count and an 8-1 lead with 1:20 left in the period. He turned him again for two back points and led 10-1 with :45 on the clock. He cut Devine loose, quickly took him down with :20 left and turned him for four more points to lead 16-2 after one period. Rasheed chose neutral to start the second period and ended the bout with a takedown, posting the 18-2 tech fall at the 3:59 mark.

197: Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, faced off against NU’s Zack Chakonis. Nickal took a 2-0 lead with a takedown at the 2:31 mark, cut Chakonis loose, took him down a second time and let him loose again to lead 4-2 with 2:05 on the clock. Nickal picked up his third takedown with 1:35 on the clock and then his fourth with :45 left. He then finished in control with a strong rideout and led 8-3 with 1:30 in riding time after the opening period. Chakonis chose down to start the second period and Nickal controlled the Wildcat on top, looking for a way to turn him for back points or a pin. Nickal picked up a stall point as Chakonis laid bellied out in the middle of the mat. Nickal finished on top and led 9-3 with 3:30 in time after two. Nickal chose neutral to start the third period, with the riding time point clinched. Nickal quickly took Chakonis down and turned him for four back points to lead 16-4 after Chakonis got called for a penalty point. Nickal then ended the match. He took Chakonis down as the Wildcat backed off the mat again, locked up a cradle and picked up his 10th pin of the year at the 6:12 mark.

285: Senior Anthony Cassar (Ricky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 4 at 285, battled No. 19 Conan Jennings in a battle of ranked big men. Cassar was steady in the middle of the mat and found an opening midway through the opening period. The Lion senior picked up the bigger Wildcat, lifted him off the mat and took him down for a thunderous takedown at the 1:20 mark to take a 2-0 lead. Jennings escaped with :35 on the clock but Cassar was undaunted, roaring through a fast double to finish with a takedown as time expired. Leading 4-1, Cassar chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. The Lion controlled the action in the second period, working his offense and finishing off a solid takedown with :20 on the clock. He rode Jennings out and led 7-1 with 1:05 in riding time after two periods. Trailing by six, Jennings chose neutral to start the final period. Cassar’s offense continued however, and the Lion used a high single to notch another takedown and lead 9-2 with 1:00 left to wrestle. After cutting Jennings loose, Cassar finished with a final strong takedown and, with 1:33 in riding time, rolled to a 12-3 major.





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