Penn State Wrestlers Beat Hawkeyes in Decisive Fashion
By K.J. Pilcher, Reporter
IOWA CITY - Penn State found a way to silence a deafening University of Iowa wrestling crowd.
At least until, Bobby Telford added a late reversal to win the final match of the evening.
By then it was too late, top-ranked Penn State won four straight matches after intermission, pulling away for a 24-12 over No. 3 Iowa in a battle of NCAA Division I wrestling powers in front of 13,747 fans Saturday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Penn State's Ed Ruth and Morgan McIntosh notched consecutive major decisions at 184 and 197, giving the Nittany Lions a 15-point edge and sealing the victory with a match left.
The dual opened with a bit of a surprise when Iowa's red-shirt Thomas Gilman took the mat, instead of fourth-ranked Cory Clark, against two-time NCAA finalist and No. 3 Nico Megaludis. It was expected to be one of a handful of "swing" matches.
Gilman penetrated for a couple of takedown attempts, but Megaludis scored the lone takedown of the match, for a 4-1 win, adding an escape and point for riding time.
The Hawkeyes caused a case of deja vu to the Nittany Lions. Tony Ramos took the mat against red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon and provided the Hawkeye faithful an encore performance from a year ago.
Ramos dominated from the start, scoring three takedowns in the first and building a 9-4 lead before the third. He chose neutral for the final period and then delivered a knockout blow to Gulibon. Ramos hit his trademark whipover, settling in after Gulibon tried to fight off, and getting a fall in 5:22.
"I felt it," Ramos said. "When he was taking his shots a lot of them his arms were flailing. At the end of the second, I felt him break."
Ramos tried earlier in the match, but Gulibon surrendered a takedown to avoid it. He continued to look for the big move. The fans, coaches and Gulibon likely expected it, but defending it proved much more difficult. It makes it more satisfying when they know it is coming.
"It's exciting because you know you did your job," Ramos said. "They can work to defend something as much as they want, but if you overpower and keep your will on them you will get what you need."
Ramos knew bonus points were important, but making sure he got the Hawks on the board was imperative. Ramos understand his production is key to Iowa. He is aware of what has to get done.
"I put it more on myself," Ramos said. "I'm a leader. I'm a captain. It's something I know I need to do myself."
Momentum quickly shifted back to Penn State in the next two match, resulting in a 9-6 lead. At 141, Iowa's Josh Dziewa came out with the opening takedown, but it wasn't enough to beat Zain Retherford, who scored a takedown in the third after two earlier escapes for a 4-2 win. Retherford's victory tied the team score at 6-6.
Zach Beitz provided back-to-back wins for Penn State, using a five-point move in the final 30 seconds to upend Michael Kelly, 6-1, at 149. The pair exchanged escapes before a flurry caused Kelly to get out of position, allowing Beitz to catch him on his back for the takedown and nearfall.
Iowa's defending national champion Derek St. John racked up four takedowns in a 10-4 handling of James Vollrath at 157. St. John's performance tied the dual, 9-9, at the intermission. Iowa didn't win again until Telford's 3-2 win over Jimmy Lawson.
Penn State took control after the break.
Top-ranked 165-pounder David Taylor scored five takedowns and amassed more than four minutes of riding time to earn a 12-4 major decision over Nick Moore, giving Penn State a 13-9 advantage. He gave the Nittany Lions a lead for good.
Matt Brown increased the lead to 16-9 with a 4-1 win over Mike Evans, avenging a one-point loss in this meet last season. Brown scored a takedown in the first and rode Evans the entire third for riding time.
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