COLUMBUS, Ohio – The No. 4/3 Ohio State wrestling team (17-1; 6-0 Big Ten) won eight consecutive matches for a 34-0 lead en route to beating No. 18 Illinois (8-7; 3-4), 38-3, in Huff Hall Friday night.

Receiving pins from Nikko Triggas (125), Lance Palmer (149) and Colt Sponseller (165), the Buckeyes have now scored 30-plus points in three Big Ten matches and 11 total in 2009-10.

The heavyweight match began the evening and Corey Morrison secured a 9-3 win over Pat Walker to give the Buckeyes an early 3-0 lead. After two periods, Morrison, a Shaker Heights, Ohio, native held a slim 2-1 advantage. The Buckeye senior then increased his lead to 5-1 following an escape to open the final period and a takedown seconds later. A second stalling call on Walker awarded Morrison a point before another takedown pushed Morrison’s lead to 8-3. Walker was able to avoid the major decision despite Morrison’s minute-plus riding time for the final tally.

For the third consecutive match, Triggas pinned his opponent at 125 pounds. This time, the Moraga, Calif., native downed John Deneen in 1:56 for his 11th fall of the season. Triggas took sole possession of sixth place in the program’s all-time career falls list with 33. 

Freshman Ian Paddock recorded a 16-7 major decision at 133 pounds over Daryl Thomas, rebounding from a 0-2 weekend last week. Already up 9-0 entering the second period, Paddock, who hails from Warsaw, N.Y., quickly took a 14-2 lead heading into the final frame and closed the match out with a takedown.

At 141 pounds, Reece Humphrey was down early, 3-2, against Ryan Prater, who also collected 43 seconds of riding time in the first period. In the second period with Humphrey deferring, Prater chose bottom and recorded the escape for the 4-2 lead. However, the Buckeye from Indianapolis, Ind., collected a pair of takedowns and 2-point nearfalls to take a 10-5 lead. From that point, Humphrey never looked back with two more takedowns in the third period and won, 14-9.

Palmer, a Columbia Station, Ohio, native, put six more points on the board for the Scarlet and Gray at 149 pounds when he pinned Eric Terrazas in 2:54.

With the Buckeyes up 22-0, sophomore Sean Nemec received the starting nod at 157 pounds and quickly made the score 25-0 courtesy of his 7-4 decision against Clint Arlis. Up 5-2 going into the third period, Nemec sealed the win with a final takedown.

Sponseller, a 165-pound junior was up 4-1 after the first period and 8-3 following the second. The Buckeye from Glenmont, Ohio, also had already amassed a riding time of 1:12 with another two minutes of wrestling to go. In the third, Sponseller recorded an escape and two more takedowns before pinning Joe Barczak at 6:20.

Seven minutes of wrestling was not enough for senior Dave Rella and Jordan Blanton. The two were knotted up at 4-4 after regulation, but in sudden victory Rella, a native of Akron, Ohio, scored the takedown for the 6-4 win and the 34-0 Buckeye lead.

The premier match of the night at 184 pounds with No. 7 vs. No. 2, Buckeye Mike Pucillo and Illini John Dergo ended the first period in a scoreless tie. Dergo chose bottom in the second period and quickly recorded the escape for the 1-0 lead. Dergo then ended the period with a 3-0 advantage following a takedown, but Pucillo scored an escape to cut the lead to 3-1 heading into the third. Choosing bottom in the final period, the Buckeye from Strongsville, Ohio, escaped, but Dergo scored another escape and with riding time, beat Pucillo, 6-2.

C.J. Magrum and Clinton Polz concluded the evening and Magrum (Oak Harbor, Ohio) finished on a high note – a 16-5 major decision to push the final to 38-3.

The Buckeyes will continue weekend action at 2 p.m. Sunday in St. John Arena against Michigan State on Senior Day. Prior to the match, the team will recognize Humphrey, Morrison, Palmer, Pucillo and Rella.

No. 4/3 Ohio State 38, No. 18 Illinois 3
Feb. 12, 2010
Huff Hall
Champaign, Ill.

285 Corey Morrison dec. Pat Walker (Illinois), 9-3
125 No. 20 Nikko Triggas pinned John Deneen (Illinois), 1:56
133 Ian Paddock mdec. Daryl Thomas (Illinois), 16-7
141 No. 2 Reece Humphrey dec. No. 14 Ryan Prater (Illinois), 14-9
149 No 2 Lance Palmer pinned No. 18 Eric Terrazas (Illinois), 2:54
157 Sean Nemec dec. Clint Arlis (Illinois), 7-4
165 No. 6 Colt Sponseller pinned Joe Barczak (Illinois), 6:20
174 No. 11 Dave Rella dec. No. 13 Jordan Blanton (Illinois), 6-4sv
184 No. 2 John Dergo (Illinois) dec. No. 7 Mike Pucillo, 6-2
197 C.J. Magrum mdec. Clinton Polz (Illinois), 16-5