A standing-room-only crowd of over 6,300 at Penn State’s Rec Hall cheered as one 2013 NCAA mat champ returned triumphant, while another was upset in overtime as the top-ranked Nittany Lions defeated No. 7 Ohio State, 31-6 in University Park, Pa. Sunday.
Arguably overshadowing Ruth’s return was Logan Stieber’s loss at 141 pounds.
Here’s how the official Nittany Lion wrestling website described the match:
“Retherford used a second period ride out to build up a riding time edge that sent the bout into extra time and a takedown in the sudden victory period to send the Rec Hall faithful through the roof and put Penn State up 8-3. Retherford's win keeps the young Lion unbeaten on the year with a perfect 11-0 mark.”
For an opposing perspective, check out the report from LandGrantHolyLand.com:
“Stieber began the second period form the bottom and that's when things started to get strange. Retherford kept top position as Stieber looked almost passive from the bottom. Two minutes passed and the period ended with the defending national champion still on bottom. Retherofd chose neutral to begin the third period. The two wrestlers traded takedown attempts with neither being able to finish. The riding time accumulated in the second period gave Retherford a point resulting in a 2-2 score, and overtime.”
“Then it happened. Retherford shot. Stieber defended. Both wrestlers adjusted. Retherford came behind Stieber. The referee raised two fingers. A winning streak spanning two seasons and two NCAA tournaments was over in a flash. Retherford 4 Stieber 2. Retherford would later say that he dreamed about a win over Stieber the night before. His dream came true, but the Buckeyes' nightmare was just beginning…”
“I usually don’t celebrate too much after a match but the crowd definitely got me fired up after that match,” Retherford told the Centre Daily Times. “I kind of lost my head for a second. Right after the match it was electric in here.”
Ohio State left Happy Valley with just two wins – Johnni DeJulius at 133, and Nick Heflin at 197. Of Penn State’s eight wins, five resulted in bonus points.
Understandably, the two head coaches offered vastly different perspectives on Sunday's action.
Penn State's Cael Sanderson said of his wrestlers, “They were loose and really, really opened up. (We) saw a lot of attempts. That’s what we want to see.”
Contrast that with Tom Ryan's assessment of his Buckeyes: "Terrible. Our fight was embarrassing. Our fight was way below our standard of excellence.”
With the win, Penn State is now 6-0 overall, and 1-0 the Big Ten; Ohio State is 4-1, and 0-1 in the conference.
- 125: No. 3 Nico Megaludis (PSU) tech fall No. 19 Nick Roberts (OSU), 21-4 (TF; 6:54)
- 133: No. 6 Johnni DeJulius OSU dec. No. 15 Jimmy Gulibon (PSU), 3-2
- 141: No. 8 Zain Retherford (PSU) dec. No. 1 Logan Stieber (OSU), 4-2 SV
- 149: Zack Beitz (PSU) dec. No. 19 Ian Paddock (OSU), 5-3
- 157: James Vollrath (PSU) dec. Randy Languis (OSU), 11-5
- 165: No. 1 David Taylor (PSU) tech fall Joe Grandominico (OSU), 20-5 (TF; 7:00)
- 174: No. 3 Matt Brown (PSU) maj. dec. Mark Martin (OSU), 16-4
- 184: No. 1 Ed Ruth (PSU) maj. dec. No. 12 Kenny Courts (OSU), 14-3
- 197: No. 5 Nick Heflin (OSU) dec. Wes Phipps (PSU), 3-1
- Hwt: No. 12 Jimmy Lawson (PSU) maj. dec. Nick Tavanello (OSU), 15-4
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