**Courtesy of Penn State SID Pat Donghia**
ANN ARBOR, Mich.; February 2, 2014 - The top-ranked Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team handled No. 11 Michigan 32-9 in a Super Bowl Sunday showdown live on the Big Ten Network Sunday, in a battle between the conference's final two unbeaten teams. By virtue of the win, Penn State clinched at least a share of the 2014 Big Ten regular season title, riding three straight technical falls to a lop-sided win. Head coach Cael Sanderson's crew won eight of ten bouts in the victory.
With two-time All-American Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, not making the weekend trip due to illness, sophomore Jordan Conaway (Abbottstown, Pa.) got the nod at 125 and controlled Conor Youtsey for a strong 9-4 win. 16th-ranked Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.) then silenced a raucous sell-out crowd with a strong 9-0 major over Rossi Bruno at 133. True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 141, remained unbeaten with a dominating 7-1 win over No. 13 Steve Dutton, rolling up 2:20 in riding time in the process and putting Penn State up 10-0.
At 149, junior Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) nearly pulled off an upset of No. 7 Eric Grajales. Alton bolted out to an 8-5 lead and led by two late. But a last second Grajales takedown ended with a Michigan fall at the 6:56 mark, briefly cutting into Penn State's lead. But All-American Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 157, responded in fine fashion with a thrilling 3-1 (SV2) decision over No. 14 Brian Murphy, sending Penn State into halftime with a 13-6 lead.
After intermission, three-time All-American David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1 at 165, posted yet another impressive win over a top-ten opponent, rolling through No. 6 Dan Yates on his way to a 17-2 tech fall at the 5:13 mark. All-American Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, posted a tech fall of his own, notching a 21-6 win at the 5:35 mark over UM's Collin Zeerip. At 184, three-time All-American Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 nationally, made it three straight tech falls, rolling to a 17-2 win over No. 20 Domenic Abounader at the 5:39 mark to put Penn State up 28-6.
Seventh-ranked sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.) continued the bonus point parade at 197, majoring Chris Heald 17-1. Junior Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) nearly upset No. 2 Adam Coon, but the Wolverine heavyweight fought off a late Gingrich shot to escape with a 2-1 win. Still, the Lions' eight wins led to a 32-9 victory and kept Penn State unbeaten on the year.
Penn State won the takedown battle with a 31-5 edge. Taylor improves to 23-0 on the year with 11 pins, seven tech falls and five majors. He his 123-3 all-time, seventh on Penn State's career wins list. He moves to 31-0 in Big Ten duals and is 52-0 all-time against Big Ten competition. Ruth is now 22-1 on the year with eight pins, eight tech falls and six majors. He is 124-3 on the year, fifth all-time at Penn State. Ruth improves to 31-0 in Big Ten duals and is 53-0 all-time against Big Ten competition.
Retherford remains unbeaten on the year with a 23-0 record, including four pins, two tech falls and seven majors. Dylan Alton is also unbeaten at 15-0 with three pins and a major. Brown moves to 23-1 with six pins, four tech falls and seven majors while McIntosh improves to 22-2 with four pins and ten majors.
Penn State is now 13-0 on the year, 7-0 in Big Ten duals, clinching at least a share of the Big Ten regular season (dual meet) crown. Michigan moves to 9-3, 5-1 B1G. The Nittany Lions continue a three-game Big Ten road swing when they trek to Minneapolis on Sunday, Feb. 9, for a 2 p.m. (Eastern) match-up with No. 3 Minnesota. The dual will also air live on the Big Ten Network.
With the full season of Rec Hall duals sold out prior to the start of the campaign, a very limited number of standing room only tickets are available to a few of the remaining Rec Hall duals. People may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Penn State Athletics ticket office located in the BJC. Fans are encouraged to follow Penn State wrestling via twitter at www.twitter.com/pennstateWREST and on Penn State Wrestling's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pennstatewrestling. The 2013-14 Penn State Wrestling season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
#1 Penn State 32, #11 Michigan 9
February 2, 2014 - Ann Arbor, Mich.
125: Jordan Conaway PSU dec. Conor Youtsey MICH, 9-4 3-0
133: #16 Jimmy Gulibon PSU maj. dec. Rossi Bruno MICH, 9-0 7-0
141: #2 Zain Retherford PSU dec. #13 Steve Dutton MICH, 7-1 10-0
149: #7 Eric Grajales MICH pinned Andrew Alton PSU, WBF (6:56) 10-6
157: #4 Dylan Alton PSU dec. #14 Brian Murphy MICH, 3-1 (SV2) 13-6
165: #1 David Taylor PSU tech fall #6 Dan Yates MICH, 17-2 (TF; 5:13) 18-6
174: #3 Matt Brown PSU tech fall Collin Zeerip MICH, 21-6 (TF; 5:35) 23-6
184: #2 Ed Ruth PSU tech fall #20 Domenic Abounader MICH, 17-2 (TF; 5:39) 28-6
197: #7 Morgan McIntosh PSU maj. dec. Chris Heald MICH, 17-7 32-6
285: #2 Adam Coon MICH dec. Jon Gingrich PSU, 2-1 32-9
Records: Penn State 13-0, 7-0 B1G; Michigan 9-3, 5-1 B1G
Up Next for Penn State: at No. 3 Minnesota, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2 p.m. (Eastern)/1 p.m. (Central)
125: Sophomore Jordan Conaway stepped in at 125 for junior Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 125, as Megaludis did not make the weekend trip due to illness. Conaway took on Wolverine freshman Conor Youtsey. The duo battled evenly for over two minutes with neither man finding an opening to score. Conaway got in on a single leg with :40 on the clock and finished off the takedown with :28 left. Youtsey quickly reversed the Lion and then rode Conaway out to send the match to the second tied 2-2. Youtsey chose down to start the second period and escaped to a 3-2 lead with 1:40 on the clock. The Wolverine worked to control Conaway's shoulders for the first minute with Conaway able to force a stalemate at the :40 mark. Conaway then rolled through another high shot and forced a scramble with :30 left. He then finished off the takedown and led 4-3 after a short ride out. Conaway chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 5-3 lead. Youtsey shot quickly and Conaway backed out of reach, holding his 5-3 lead at the 1:30 mark. Conaway once again gained control of Youtsey on a low single and steadily worked his way to a takedown with :52 on the clock. Leading 7-3, Conaway controlled the Wolverine until the :20 mark. Continuing with his offense, Conaway tacked on one more takedown to post the strong 9-4 win.
133: Red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 16 at 133, met sophomore Rossi Bruno. Gulibon stalked the middle of the mat, looking to control the pace during the early going. The Lion freshman connected on a swift low single for a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the 1:23 mark. Gulibon then broke Bruno down and controlled the action from the top position for over a minute, looking for a chance to turn the Wolverine for back points. Gulibon rode Bruno out and led 2-0 after one. Gulibon chose down to start the second stanza and quickly escaped to a 3-0 lead. Gulibon deftly countered a Bruno throw attempt, took the Wolverine to his back and with the five-point move led 8-0 at the 1:21 mark. Gulibon was again strong on top building up over 2:00 in riding time and nearly turning him for more back points. Gulibon forced Bruno into a stall warning and carried the 8-0 lead into the third. Bruno chose neutral to start the third but Gulibon was relentless on offense. The Lion freshman forced the temp throughout and nearly notched another takedown with :56 on the clock. With the riding time point clinched, Gulibon worked the middle of the mat for the rest of the period and posted a convincing 9-0 major with 2:48 in riding time.
141: True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 141, faced off with No. 13 Steve Dutton of Michigan. Retherford drew first blood with a low single to takedown at the 1:48 mark. The Nittany Lion freshman then controlled the action from the top position, breaking Dutton down and working up a solid riding time edge while trying to turn the Wolverine junior. Retherford's strong work on top kept Dutton's belly on the mat and the Lion led 2-0 with 1:48 in riding time after one. Retherford chose down to start the second period and steadily worked his way to a text-book reversal and a 4-0 lead with 1:10 on the clock. His work up top forced Dutton into a stall warning with :40 left in the period. Another dominant ride out gave Retherford a 4-0 lead with 2:08 in time. Dutton chose neutral to start the third period and Retherford quickly took him down for a 6-1 lead after cutting him loose. Looking for a major, Retherford pressured the Wolverine and nearly notched the takedown but time ran out. 2:20 in riding time gave the unbeaten Nittany Lion a 7-1 win and put Penn State up 10-0.
149: Junior Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) met No. 7 Eric Grajales at 149. Alton scored quickly, turning shoulder control into a takedown and a 2-0 lead at the 2:32 mark. Alton nearly turned the Wolverine for two back points but Grajales was able to keep his shoulders off the mat. The Lion junior was undaunted though, controlling Grajales' shoulders and taking him to the mat for a takedown and two near fall points, upping his lead to 6-2 with 1:00 on the clock. Alton appeared to take Grajales down but the move was not counted. Penn State called for a review and the takedown was given, putting Alton up 8-2 with :03 left in the first. Grajales chose down to start the second and quickly escaped to an 8-3 score. Grajales notched his first takedown with :48 left in the period. He worked to turn Alton for back points but the Lion junior was able to keep parallel. Grajales rode Alton out and led 8-5 after two. The third period was a furious display with Grajales taking down and escaping quickly. He took Alton down twice and picked up a stall point as well. Alton countered with a takedown of his own but Grajales picked up another stall point to tie the bout at 12-12. With just :10 left, Grajales took Alton to his back on the edge of the mat and got the pin at the 6:56 mark.
157: Junior Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.), ranked No. 4 at 157, took on No.14 Brian Murphy of Michigan. The duo battled evenly for the opening minute until Alton gained control of Murphy's right ankle. He worked to pull the Wolverine into the center of the mat but could not finish off the takedown and Murphy escaped out of bounds with :50 on the clock. The match moved into the second scoreless and Murphy chose down to start the second. A quick escape gave the Wolverine a 1-0 lead and action resumed in the center circle at the 1:40 mark. Alton and Murphy traded shots for the next minute-plus with neither man breaking through the other's defense. Trailing 1-0, Alton chose down to start the third and quickly escaped to a 1-1 tie. With each wrestler looking for a chance to score, the battle moved into the final minute of the period knotted at 1-1. Alton shot low on Murphy, gaining control of his ankle and forcing a scramble that nearly ended in a takedown. But time ran out and the bout moved into extra time. Each wrestler took slight shots at the :30 mark but neither found their marks and a reset was called with :20 left. With neither man scoring, the bout moved into the first tie-breaker. Alton chose down for the first time breaker and nearly reversed Murphy. But the Wolverine was able to maintain control and rode Alton out. Murphy then took down nearly reversed Alton, but the official waved off the reversal call. Michigan called for a video review and Murphy took an injury timeout. The review was held up, the score stayed 1-1 and Alton chose down at the reset with :08 on the clock. Alton was unable to escape and the bout moved into a second sudden victory period. Alton gained control of Murphy this time and worked the Wolverine to the mat for a takedown just :20 into the second extra minute, posting the 3-1 (sv2) decision.
165: Senior David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), the top-ranked grappler in the nation at 165, met No. 6 Dan Yates. Taylor quickly tripped Yates to the mat at the 2:30 mark, taking the Wolverine senior down to lead 2-0 early. The Lion senior then controlled the Wolverines for :52 before Yates escaped only to be taken down again and Taylor worked up a 1:30 riding time edge. Yates escaped, Taylor took him down a third time and then turned him to his back for three near fall points and a 9-2 lead after one. Yates chose down and Taylor continued to add to over 2:00 in riding time. Taylor dominated the action from the top, turning Yates for two more back points and an 11-2 lead. Taylor added a three-point near fall and led 14-2 with :40 on the clock. The Lion senior added another two point near fall and led 16-2 after two period with a clinched riding time point. Taylor chose down to start the third and quickly escaped to a 17-2 technical fall at the 5:17 mark.
174: Junior Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, faced off with Wolverine junior Collin Zeerip. Brown scored right off the opening whistle, using a low single to take Zeerip down for a 2-1 lead early. He then took Zeerip down a second time to up his lead to 4-1 and built up a solid riding time edge while forcing Zeerip into a first stall warning. Brown cut the Wolverine loose, quickly blew through another takedown and led 6-2 at the 1:02 mark. Brown clinched up a cradle, turned the Wolverine to his back and led 9-2 with :30 on the clock. Brown cut Zeerip loose with :20, immediately turned into him and took him down once more with :08 on the clock. Leading 11-3, Brown chose down to start the second period and steadily worked his way into a reversal and a 13-3 lead with 1:30 on the clock. Brown titled Zeerip for two more back points before cutting him loose to a 15-4 score. The Lion junior continued his offensive prowess, notching another takedown with :15 left, cutting him loose and adding another takedown at the buzzer to lead 19-5 with 2:38 in time. Zeerip chose down to start the third period, was cut loose by Brown and then taken down for a 21-6 technical fall at the 5:35 mark.
184: Senior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 2 at 184, took on No. 20 Domenic Abounader. Ruth came out quickly, looking for an early takedown and nearly scoring in just seconds. But Abounader was able to step back and keep Ruth from scoring on shot number one. Ruth then connected on shot number two, a swift low double to give him a 2-0 lead with 2:20 on the clock. Ruth cut the Wolverine loose and took him down quickly afterwards to lead 4-1 at the midway point of the opening period. After an Abounader escape, Ruth notched takedown number three and then built his riding time point up over 1:00 with a strong ride. Ruth chose down to start the second period and deftly reversed the young Wolverine to up his lead to 8-2 less than :30 into the middle stanza. He then controlled Abounader's wrist, turned him to his back for three near fall points and led 11-2 with :55 on the clock. The Lion senior worked to lock up a cradle and turned Abounader for three more back points to lead 14-2 after two. Abounader chose down to start the third period. But Ruth was relentless, working wrist control into three more back points and a 17-2 tech fall at the 5:39 mark.
197: Sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 7 at 197, took on Chris Heald. McIntosh scored first, taking Heald down early and cutting him loose to a 2-1 lead with 1:50 on the clock. The Lion added a second takedown just seconds later and built up :56 in time before Heald escaped to a 4-2 score. McIntosh almost scored again as the period wound down but time ran out and the Lion led 4-2 after one. Heald chose down to start the second period and McIntosh built his riding time up over 1:00. McIntosh dominated the action from the top, turning Heald over for three near fall points and a 7-2 lead with :45 on the clock. McIntosh maintained control for the rest of the period and, while not getting more back points, led 7-2 with 2:56 in time after two. The Lion chose down to start the third and quickly escaped to an 8-2 lead. McIntosh added two more quick takedowns to lead 12- with 1:00 on the clock. Looking for more bonus points, McIntosh took the Wolverine down, cut him loose only to be taken down. McIntosh answered with a reversal and, with 3:23 in riding time, rolled to the 17-7 major.
285: Junior Jon Gingrich (Wingate, Pa.) battled second-ranked Wolverine Adam Coon at 285. The duo battled evenly for a minute with Coon forcing the action early. The second-ranked Wolverine forced Gingrich into a first stall at the 1:42 mark. Neither wrestler was able to find an opening and the bout moved to the second period tied 0-0. Gingrich chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Coon looked to control the action up top and Gingrich tried to connect on high singles, but neither wrestler was able to break free and the Lion held his 1-0 lead at the 1:00 mark. Gingrich got hit for stalling at the :40 mark and the bout was tied 1-1. With the match tied 1-1, Coon chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 2-1 lead. The duo battled evenly for the next minute with Gingrich upping his tempo down the stretch. The Lion junior worked for an opening but Coon's was able to step back out of trouble each time. With :30 on the clock, Gingrich worked a high double, looking to grab a win, but Coon was able to fight off the move and force a stalemate with :05 on the clock. Coon escaped with a tough 2-1 win on the stall point.