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Penn State Wrestling Blows Past Rutgers 38-6

No. 2 Penn State wrestling earned its sixth dual victory of the season by defeating Rutgers 38-6 in front of a sold-out Rec Hall crowd and on national television on Sunday evening.

The Nittany Lions won eight of the ten bouts, including three falls and one technical fall. After falling behind 3-0, Penn State never looked back, winning the next three matches and ending the dual on a five-bout winning streak. In total, the Nittany Lions dominated the Scarlet Knights in takedowns with a 23-3 edge.

How It Happened

Brandon Meredith and No. 16 Nicolas Aguilar of Rutgers kicked the dual off with their bout at 125 lbs. Aguilar controlled the majority of the first two periods, taking a 7-3 lead heading into the final period. After riding Meredith for most of the final period and taking him down, Aguilar secured the 10-4 decision, which put the Scarlet Knights up 3-0.

At 133 lbs., No. 3 Roman Bravo-Young wrestled No. 9 Sammy Alvarez of Rutgers. With only an escape point earned by Alvarez to begin the second period, the score was 1-0 heading into the final period. An escape by Bravo-Young to begin the third tied the match with half of the final period to go.

After a close scramble in the final seconds of the match, regulation eded with the score still tied 1-1. After a scoreless first sudden victory period, Alvarez and Bravo-Young both escaped in their respective tiebreaker periods. Bravo-Young’s last second takedown in the second sudden victory earned him the 4-2 decision to bring all of Rec Hall on its feet. Bravo-Young’s win tied the match 3-3.

At 141 lbs., No. 2 Nick Lee rattled off six takedowns against Rutgers’ JoJo Aragona and clocked nearly five minutes of riding time. He dominantly took a 9-3 lead with more than three minutes of riding time heading into the final period, in which he scored nine points to secure the 18-3 tech fall. Lee’s win made it 8-3 heading into the fourth match of the evening.

At 149 lbs., Jarod Verkleeren registered two takedowns to lead Rutgers’ Nick Santos 4-2 after the first period. With a three-point advantage entering the third and final period, Verklereen fought his way to a 7-3 decision.

Bo Pipher wrestled Michael Van Brill of Rutgers in their bout at 157 lbs. After a scoreless first period, Van Brill elected to start down to begin the second where he failed to escape for the entirety of the period. A failed challenge by Rutgers and a failed escape by Pipher in the third period kept the score knotted 0-0 headed into sudden victory. A scoreless first sudden victory period forced a set of tiebreaker periods. Van Brill’s escape in his tie-breaker period gave him the 1-0 decision and cut Penn State’s lead to 11-6 at the intermission.

When wrestling resumed at 165 lbs, No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph jumped out quickly 2-0 on Brett Donner of Rutgers to start their bout. Joseph wrestled with a purpose as he registered six takedowns before eventually winning by fall at the 6:15 mark.

At 174 lbs., No. 1 Mark Hall maintained control over Joseph Grello of Rutgers 6-1 for the entirety of the match before the Scarlet Knight forfeited due to injury near the end of the third period. The injury default made it 23-6 in favor of the Nittany Lions.

No. 8 Aaron Brooks followed with another six points as he won by fall over Rutgers’ Billy Janzer at 184 lbs. Brooks skillfully recorded a takedown in the final seconds of the first period to take the lead, before cradling Janzer on the edge of the mat in the next period to record the fall and extend the lead to 29-6.

At 197 lbs., No. 20 Shakur Rasheed routed No. 18 Jordan Pagano of Rutgers 6-0. He jumped out to a 2-0 lead to start the bout and rode out Pagano for the remainder of the first period. A reversal in the second helped Rasheed claim a 5-0 advantage heading into the final period. He eventually won with a 6-0 decision after scoring a riding time point with 2:20 in total riding time.

Seth Nevills and Alex Esposito of Rutgers squared off in their bout at 285 lbs. to conclude the match. Turning defense into offense, Nevills claimed an early 4-0 lead and seemed hungry for bonus points. He won by fall at the 2:24 mark to cap off the dual with a 38-6 final score.

What’s Next

Penn State will next wrestle at Nebraska at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 24.

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About the Author

Jarod Kutz

Jarod Kutz is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in business. Growing up 45 minutes away in Altoona, he knew Penn State was going to be his destination after high school. You can find Jarod watching his favorite sports teams (Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, or Indianapolis Colts ~ don't ask him how), eating Chipotle, or scrolling through social media. Follow @kutz53 on Twitter or shoot him an email at [email protected]

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