COLUMBUS, Ohio For the first time in this early dual season, the No. 6 Ohio State wrestling team was forced to test itself on the road against No. 17 Edinboro. After winning key matches at 165 pounds and heavyweight, it was able to exit Edinboro, Pa., with a 19-12 win Sunday.
The Buckeyes, who will break from competition until Jan. 4, conclude 2008 with a 3-0 record. Ohio State will host Kent State at 5 p.m. in St. John Arena to begin the new year. The Fighting Scots drop to 5-3. The Scarlet and Gray now have won three consecutive matches against Edinboro to lead the overall series, 6-3.
The match featured five bouts between ranked opponents, as well as a trio of national champions J Jaggers, Mike Pucillo and Edinboro’s Gregor Gillespie.
After both teams exchanged wins and Edinboro held a slim 9-7 lead following the first five matches, sophomore Colt Sponseller paced the Buckeyes to four of five victories the rest of the way at 165 pounds.
A native of Glenmont, Ohio, No. 6 Sponseller secured a 4-1 victory against No. 3 Jarrod King. It was the first loss of the season for King. Sponseller owned an early 2-1 advantage after the first period and despite King taking the down position in the second period, Sponseller did not give up the escape. Choosing bottom in the third period, Sponseller was able to do what his adversary could not and that was score the much-needed point. Up 3-1 lead, Sponseller increased his margin of victory by one after compiling a riding time of 1:51.
Wrestling in place of the injured Dave Rella at 174 pounds, Sean Nemec posted his first-career dual win against Paul Paddock, 7-4. Nemec, a redshirt-freshman from Garfield Heights, Ohio, spent his first year at Ohio State competing in open tournaments. He used a pair of takedowns, a reversal and a riding time of 1:20 to down his opponent. Nemec was up 2-1 at the end of the first period before relinquishing an escape in the second period. However, Nemec quickly followed with a takedown to go back up 4-2 before Paddock ended the stanza with an escape. Nemec chose down to open the third period and scored the reversal to give himself some breathing room. Paddock then scored a final escape, but to no avail as Nemec also earned the riding time.
Making his 2008-09 debut since winning the national title at 184 pounds in March, junior Mike Pucillo was victorious over 10th-ranked Chris Honeycutt. In the first period, Pucillo jumped out to a 4-0 lead on a takedown and two-point nearfall. In the lone scoring of the second stanza, Pucillo, a native of Strongsville, Ohio, tallied a takedown, riding a 6-0 lead into the final period. Honeycutt opted for the down position and after a stalling call on Honeycutt gave Pucillo an additional point, the Fighting Scot got on the board courtesy of an escape. With no other scoring in the period, Pucillo wrapped up the match with a 5:10 riding time.
Leading 16-9 with two matches left, freshman Cody Gardner dropped a close 3-0 decision to Pat Bradshaw at 197 pounds. With Ohio State owning a tight 16-12 advantage, Buckeye and 14th-ranked Corey Morrison pulled out the match-deciding 5-3 decision against No. 8 Joey Fendone in the heavyweight bout. Not only did the win by Morrison, a product of Shaker Heights, Ohio, give the Buckeyes the victory, but he also handed Fendone his first loss of the season as he falls to 14-1. It was a pair of takedowns and an escape that propelled Morrison to victory compared to Fendone’s pair of escapes and stalling call.
Junior Reece Humphrey remains undefeated at 12-0 following his win over Ricky Deubel at 133 pounds. A native of Indianapolis, Ind., the eighth-ranked Humphrey was the lone wrestler in the match to score bonus points with his 14-6 major decision.
At 149 pounds, Lance Palmer notched a 7-1 decision over No. 15 Torsten Gillespie. An early takedown in the first period followed by a reversal, consecutive Gillespie stalling calls and a riding time of 3:35 gave Palmer his 11th win of the season.
In addition to losing the 197-pound bout, Ohio State dropped matches at 125, 141 and 157 pounds. Sophomore Nikko Triggas lost 6-2 to Kyle Fluke, while Jaggers fell 5-4 to Joel Webster. Senior Jason Johnstone faced 2007 NCAA champion Gregor Gillespie and lost, 6-2.
No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 17 Edinboro
Dec. 14, 2008
Edinboro – 12
Ohio State – 19
125 Kyle Fluke (Edinboro) DEC Nikko Triggas (Ohio State) 6 – 2
133 Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) MD Rick Deubel (Edinboro) 6 – 14
141 Joel Webster (Edinboro) DEC J Jaggers (Ohio State) 5 – 4
149 Lance Palmer (Ohio State) DEC Torsten Gillespie (Edinboro) 1 – 7
157 Gregor Gillespie (Edinboro) DEC Jason Johnstone (Ohio State) 6 – 2
165 Colt Sponseller (Ohio State) DEC Jarrod King (Edinboro) 1 – 4
174 Sean Nemec (Ohio State) DEC Paul Paddock (Edinboro) 4 – 7
184 Mike Pucillo (Ohio State) DEC Christopher Honeycutt (Edinboro) 1 – 8
197 Patrick Bradshaw (Edinboro) DEC Cody Gardner (Ohio State) 3 – 0
285 Corey Morrison (Ohio State) DEC Joe Fendone (Edinboro) 3 – 5