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COLUMBUS, Ohio In his final home match as a Buckeye, senior wrestler J Jaggers went out in style. With Ohio State already having secured the team victory, Jaggers stepped onto the mat vs. Illinois’ Ryan Prater at 141 pounds and pinned the Illini in 4:49 to lift the Scarlet and Gray to a 26-13 victory Sunday in St. John Arena.

With the win, Ohio State moves to 14-2 on the season, including a 5-1 mark in the Big Ten. The triumph also marked head coach Tom Ryan’s 150th career victory. In 14 seasons as a head coach (including three at Ohio State), Ryan owns a winning percentage of .609. 

In his fifth and final year competing in front of family and friends in the historical arena, the 14th-ranked Jaggers, a native of Northfield, Ohio, was consistently on the attack in the early moments of the match despite a scoreless first period. The second stanza appeared to be heading in the same direction with a lot of action, but not any points to show for it. However, with just 11 seconds remaining in the period, Jaggers was able to get Prater on his back to record his fourth pin of the season.

The match got underway at 149 pounds and junior Lance Palmer quickly gave Ohio State a 4-0 lead following his major decision over Eric Terrazas, 10-2. Ranked fourth in the country, Palmer ended the first period with a tight 2-0 lead, but wasted little time in adding onto his score in the second stanza on a takedown and escape. The Buckeye native from Columbia Station, Ohio, was awarded two additional points because of three Illinois warnings. Coupled with a riding time of 4:06, Palmer was a 10-2 victor. 

Joining Jaggers in the Senior Day celebration, 17th-ranked Jason Johnstone faced No. 2 Mike Poeta at 157 pounds. Johnstone, who hails from Massillon, Ohio, had his hands full against the two-time All-American and Big Ten champion. Poeta ended the first stanza with a 4-1 advantage which he increased into a 7-2 lead by the end of the second period before the 10-4 final.

Following a scoreless first period, second-ranked Colt Sponseller tallied an escape and takedown in the second period to take a 3-0 lead against No. 15 Roger Smith-Bergsrud at 165 pounds . There was not any scoring in the final period, but Sponseller was awarded a point because of a pair of Illinois warnings. The sophomore native of Glenmont, Ohio, amassed a riding time of 2:25 to cap his victory.

With Ohio State up 10-3 after three matches, junior Dave Rella garnered his 15th win of the season when he defeated John Dergo, 8-6, in the 174-pound bout. The match was a close affair the entire seven minutes. Hailing from Akron, Ohio, Rella was down 2-1 after the first period. In the second stanza,  it was back and forth scoring as Dergo opened the period with an escape at 1:51. Eleven seconds later, Rella scored a takedown before another Illinois escape at the 1-minute mark. Rella countered with a takedown with 29 seconds remaining in the period. The stanza concluded with a 5-5 tie on a Dergo escape at the 14-second point. With Rella opting for the down position, he got out of Dergo’s grip in three seconds and then scored a takedown at 1:31. A final escape at 1:07 by Dergo was not enough as Rella held on for the win.

No. 2 Mike Pucillo increased the Buckeye lead to 14-3 following his 10-2 major decision win over No. 12 Jordan Blanton. Up 4-1 after the first period, Pucillo, a junior from Strongsville, Ohio, kept Blanton scoreless in the second period, while he scored an escape and takedown. Finally in the third period, Pucillo tallied another takedown and brought his total riding time to 2:38 in the win.

Illinois was able to get back seven points at 197 pounds and heavyweight. Buckeye junior Jason Cook lost an 8-2 decision to Patrick Bond. Classmate Corey Morrison encountered ninth-ranked John Wise and suffered a 12-1 setback. 

At 125 pounds, it was again sophomore Nikko Triggas who scored a crucial six points for the Buckeyes with a pin. Ohio State held a slim 14-10 lead, but Triggas propelled the Scarlet and Gray to a 20-10 advantage when he dropped B.J. Futrell in 3:36. In the match Friday against Michigan, Triggas’ pin was critical in the Scarlet and Gray’s 26-17 win vs. the Wolverines. 

In the featured bout of the day, it was No. 2 Reece Humphrey vs. No. 3 Jimmy Kennedy at 133 pounds. Humphrey, a junior from Indianapolis, Ind., entered the matchup with 21 wins and just one loss. Kennedy was 22-2 before the match. Humphrey was up 2-1 at the end of one period and held a 3-1 advantage after two. However, a reversal by Kennedy at the 1:47 mark in the third, along with a riding time of 2:06 by the Illini was enough for him to earn his 23rd victory (4-3) of the season. 

Notes:
The 26-13 win by the Buckeyes against the Illini is their first since 1994. Illinois owned a 10-match win streak. Last season, Ohio State came up short by one point, falling 19-18 in Champaign.

Ohio State celebrated Senior Day with four Buckeyes and their families Wes Bergman, J Jaggers,  Jason Johnstone and Owen Schaefer.

Colt Sponseller recorded his team-leading 27th win (3 losses) of the season and is 6-0 in the Big Ten.

Mike Pucillo remains undefeated at 14-0 and is 6-0 in the Big Ten.

Sponseller, Pucillo and Lance Palmer are undefeated in the Big Ten at 6-0.

With two consecutive pins on the weekend, Nikko Triggas leads the team with 12 on the season.

The Buckeyes will travel to Evanston, Ill., Feb. 20 for an 8 p.m. ET match-up against No. 16 Northwestern. Ohio State then will take on No. 18 Wisconsin in Madison Feb. 22. The Buckeyes vs. Badgers dual will air live on the Big Ten Network at 1 p.m. ET.

No. 6 Ohio State (14-2; 5-1 Big Ten)
vs.
No. 8 Illinois (11-2, 4-2 Big Ten)
2 p.m.
St. John Arena
Columbus, Ohio
Match Started at 149
Attendance: 1,339

Match-Ups
Wgt.No. 8 Illinois 13, No. 6 Ohio State 26
125
Nikko Triggas pinned B.J. Futrell, 3:36 
133 No. 3 Jimmy Kennedy dec. No. 2 Reece Humphrey, 4-3
141 No. 14 J Jaggers pinned Ryan Prater, 4:49 
149 No. 4 Lance Palmer mdec. Eric Terrazas, 10-2 
157 No. 2 Mike Poeta dec. No. 17 Jason Johnstone, 10-4
165 No. 2 Colt Sponseller dec. No. 15 Roger Smith-Bergsrud, 5-0 
174 Dave Rella dec. John Dergo, 8-6 
184 No. 2 Mike Pucillo, 10-2 mdec. No. 12 Jordan Blanton
197 Patrick Bond dec. Jason Cook, 8-2 
285 No. 9 John Wise mdec. Corey Morrison, 12-1

125 B.J. Futrell vs. Nikko Triggas
First Period
Neutral … TD (ILL) 2:44 … escape (OSU) 2:09 … TD (ILL) 1:12 … caution (ILL) 1:03 … escape (OSU) :56
4-2 (ILL)
Second Period
OSU up … pin (OSU) 1:24 
Third Period
Final Pin (OSU) 3:36

133 No. 3 Jimmy Kennedy vs. No. 2 Reece Humphrey
First Period
Neutral … TD (OSU) 2:07 … escape (ILL) 1:53 … stalemate :17
2-1 (OSU) 
Second Period
OSU down … caution (OSU) 1:48 … escape (OSU) 1:19
3-1 (OSU)
Third Period
ILL down … reversal (ILL) 1:47 … injury timeout (OSU) 1:07
RT 2:06 (ILL)
Final 4-3 (ILL)

141 Ryan Prater vs. No. 14 J Jaggers
First Period
Neutral … No Scoring
Second Period
OSU down … stalemate :44 … pin (OSU) :11
Third Period
Final Pin (OSU) 4:49

149 Eric Terrazas vs. No. 4 Lance Palmer
First Period
Neutral … TD (OSU) 2:55 … stalemate 2:26 … stalemate 1:38 … warning (ILL) 1:27 … stalemate :38 … caution (ILL) :38
2-0 (OSU)
Second Period
OSU down … escape (OSU) 1:43 … TD (OSU) :49 … escape (ILL) :45
5-1 (OSU)
Third Period
ILL down … warning (ILL) 1:33 … warning (OSU) 1:33 … escape (ILL) 1:15 … warning (ILL) :47 … TD (OSU) :44
RT 4:06 (OSU)
Final 10-2 (OSU)

157 No. 2 Mike Poeta vs. No. 17 Jason Johnstone
First Period
Neutral … TD (ILL) 2:24 … injury time (OSU) 1:38 … escape (OSU) 1:15 … TD (ILL) :19
4-1 (ILL)
Second Period
ILL down … escape (ILL) 1:58 … warning (OSU) :50 …. TD (ILL) :50 … escape (OSU) :29
7-2 (ILL)  
Third Period
OSU down … escape (OSU) 1:19 … TD (ILL) :40 … escape (OSU) :33   
RT 2:37 (ILL)
Final 10-4 (ILL)

165 No. 15 Roger Smith-Bergsrud vs. No. 2 Colt Sponseller
First Period
Neutral … No Scoring
Second Period
OSU down … escape (OSU) 1:31 … TD (OSU) :54
3-0 (OSU)
Third Period
ILL down … warning (ILL) 1:23 … caution (ILL) :53 … caution (OSU) :53 … warning (OSU) :26 … warning (ILL) :05  
RT 2:25 (OSU)
Final 5-0 (OSU)

174 John Dergo vs. Dave Rella
First Period
Neutral … TD (ILL) 1:35 … stalemate :51 … escape (OSU) :07
2-1 (ILL)
Second Period
ILL down … escape (ILL) 1:51 … TD (OSU) 1:40 …injury  timeout (ILL) 1:15 … escape (ILL) 1:00 … TD (OSU) :29 … escape (ILL) :14
5-5 Tie 
Third Period
OSU down … escape (OSU) 1:57 … TD (OSU) 1:31 … escape (ILL) 1:07 
Final 8-6 (OSU)

184 No. 12 Jordan Blanton vs. No. 2 Mike Pucillo
First Period
Neutral … TD (OSU) 1:23 … escape (ILL) 1:06 … TD (OSU) :47 …. stalemate :04 … caution (ILL) :04
4-1 (OSU)
Second Period
OSU down … escape (OSU) 1:55 … stalemate 1:23 … TD (OSU) :31
7-1 (OSU)
Third Period
ILL down … escape (ILL) 1:28 …. TD (OSU) :40  
RT 2:38 (OSU)
Final 10-2 (OSU)

197 Patrick Bond vs. Jason Cook
First Period
Neutral … injury timeout (OSU) 1:51 … TD (ILL) 1:11 … TD (ILL) :35
4-0 (ILL)  
Second Period
ILL down … caution (ILL) 2:00 … warning (OSU) 1:42 … TD (ILL) :58 … escape (OSU) :56
7-1 (ILL) 
Third Period
OSU down … escape (OSU) 1:24 
RT 1:31 (ILL)
Final 8-2 (ILL)

285 No. 9 John Wise vs.  Corey Morrison
First Period
Neutral … TD  (ILL) :33
2-0 (ILL)
Second Period
ILL down … escape (ILL) 1:56 … TD (ILL) 1:44 … 3-NF (ILL) :49 … warning (OSU) :27
8-0 (ILL)
Third Period
Neutral … TD (ILL) 1:35 … warning (ILL) 1:19 … warning (OSU) :53 … warning (ILL) :19 …  
RT 3:49 (ILL)
Final 12-1 (ILL)