15th-ranked Jason Johnstone clinches win in the final match

COLUMBUS, Ohio The No. 6 Ohio State wrestling team opened the New Year with a 20-15 win over Kent State Sunday night in St. John Arena. The Buckeyes came back from a 13-15 score going into the final two matches to hold off the Golden Flashes.

The Buckeyes began their rally at 149 when fourth-ranked Lance Palmer defeated Clint Sponseller, Ohio State’s Colt Sponseller’s brother, in a 9-0 major decision and gave the Buckeye a 17-15 lead going into the final match. In the first period, Palmer took down Sponseller at 2:05 to get the early 2-0 lead. Palmer went on to take down Sponseller again in the third period with 59 seconds remaining to seal the victory. Palmer holds a 10-2 record this season.

The final match, Ohio State’s No. 15 Jason Johnstone and Ross Tice battled at 157 for the outright team victory. Tice opened the match with a take down, but Johnstone took the lead after an escape and a take down to give him a 2-1 lead to end the first period. The second period ended with a 6-2 score in Ohio State’s favor. The match ended with a total of three take downs for Johnstone in a 9-3 victory and sealed the win for the Buckeyes.

In the first two matches, two members of the Buckeye squad won in major decisions and gave Ohio State an early lead. In 165, Colt Sponseller defeated Obie Simpson and posted five take downs to finish with a final 12-4 score. In 184, top-ranked Mike Pucillo held off No. 6 Dustin Kilgore with a 6-1 win to extend Ohio State’s lead to 10-0. Pucillo recorded two take downs and an escape.

Kent State, however, battled back into the match with three upsets against the Buckeyes. In heavyweight, No. 14 Corey Morrison of Ohio State was upset by Jermail Porter in a 4-3 decision. Morrison was ahead after two periods, 3-1, but Porter was able to take down Morrison with 15 seconds remaining and claimed 1:15 in riding time to close the match. Morrison moved to 12-5 this season.

With a 5-2 final, Ohio State’s No. 18 Nikko Triggas was upset by Nic Bedelyon. Triggas was taken down in the final minute to claim the victory for Bedelyon. Triggas is 13-6 on the season.

The Golden Flashes took the lead after No. 12 J Jaggers was pinned by Kent State’s Drew Lashaway to make the score 15-13 in Kent State’s favor.

Ohio State continues its win streak with a 4-0 record, while Kent State fell to 3-2 record. The Buckeyes will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa for the National Duals Jan. 10-11.

No. 6 Ohio State vs. Kent State
Jan. 4, 2009
St. John Arena
Columbus, Ohio

Kent State – 15
Ohio State  – 20

Individual Matches

 Wt  Winning Wrestler (School)  Win Type  Losing Wrestler (School)  Score
 125  Nic Bedelyon (Kent State)  DEC  Nikko Triggas (Ohio State)  5 – 2
 133  Reece Humphrey (Ohio State)  DEC  Danny Mitchoff (Kent State)  5 – 4
 141  Drew Lashaway (Kent State)  PIN  J Jaggers (Ohio State)  6 – 0
 149  Lance Palmer (Ohio State)  MDEC  Clint Sponseller (Ohio State)  9 – 0
 157  Jason Johnstone (Ohio State)  DEC  Ross Tice (Kent State)  9 – 3
 165  Colt Sponseller (Ohio State)  MDEC  Obie Simpson (Kent State)  12 – 4
 174  Dave Rella  (Ohio State)  DEC  Chris Estep (Kent State)  9 – 4
 184  Mike Pucillo (Ohio State)  DEC  Dustin Kilgore (Kent State)  6 – 1
 197  Eric Chine (Kent State)  DEC  Cody Gardner (Ohio State)  3 – 2
 285  Jermail Porter (Kent State)  DEC  Corey Morrison (Ohio State)  4 – 3