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World's Greatest Dual Meet: Penn State 20, VaTech 15

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WOW. What A Fight. PSU 20, VaTech 14

Breathless.

In the final match, in overtime, after seven and a half minutes of all out physical exertion, 268.5 pound Jimmy Lawson countered 253 pound Ty Walz's shot, scrambled for 10 seconds, and scored the winning takedown.  The two shaved bears wrestled like lightweights.  You shouldn't have expected any less in this dual, as #4 Penn State beat #6 Virginia Tech in Rec Hall, in front of a capacity crowd.

Credit the Hokies.  They shot, and fought, and they wrestled like champs.  For two hours, no fan had a minute's break in the action.  Non-stop offense, attacks, and a few wild scrambles left the wrestling audience in awe.  31 takedowns: 16 Penn State, 15 Virginia Tech.

(Missed the dual?  Check out the preview and play-by-play from our awesome BSD Wrestling Team.  Big Thanks to bveo, jtot, swha, rambler, frank, coach, tikk, and the gang.)

125 LBS

#10 Jordan Conaway DEC #5 Joey Dance, 7-5

The dual started quickly.  Jordan brought the Rec Hall crowd to its feet with a huge victory to start the dual meet.  Dance opened the scoring in the 1st period with his sweep single to Conaway's right (lead) foot.  Conaway escaped immediately.  In the 2nd period, Conaway started down and escaped quickly to knot the match at 2.  Conaway whizzered hard on another Dance low single and came away neutral, when 99% thought it was done.  Then Jordan hit a takedown for two.  Dance tried to funk out of it, but Conaway put Dance on his back for 3 near fall to end the 2nd period with a 6-2 lead.  Dance started the 3rd period down and escaped to close to 6-3.  Dance scored again with his low sweep single to the right leg, and cut Conaway.  But it wasn't enough.  Conaway won, 7-5, putting the Lions on top, 3-0.

133 LBS

#5 Jimmy Gulibon DEC #19 Kevin Norstrem, 9-4

Once again, the Hokies shot first, and scored a takedown.  Norstrem fired a nice left handed high crotch towards Gulibon's trail (left) leg, and took a 2-1 lead after a quick escape.  Norstrem tried it a second time, but it backfired, as Jimmy went behind for a takedown of his own.  Norstrem escaped but was taken down by Gulibon a second time, who rode out the period.  Jimmy took down and escaped to take a 6-3 lead heading into the 3rd.  Norstrem escaped but Gulibon scored a 3rd takedown on a high crotch.  Gulibon worked the near wrist hard but was unable to turn Norstrem.  With over one minute in riding time, Gulibon staked the Lions to a 6-0 lead.

141 LBS

#3 Devin Carter WBF Michael Waters, 1:56

And just like that, the lead was gone.  Devin Carter used a throw by to takedown Waters.  He moved to an arm bar, blocked Waters' head, and turned him for back points.  Waters fought it off, but Carter scrambled to a headlock, and scored the first period fall to silence the raucous Rec Hall crowd.  The six points for the fall leveled the team score.

149 LBS

Sal Mastriani DEC #13 Zach Beitz 7-5

There must have been 30 shots taken in this match.  Flurry after flurry, Mastriani used a heavy collar tie to throw off Zach's offense, and then fired left handed high crotches.  It worked.  Mastriani controlled the action through two periods, staking a 4-1 lead into the third period.  Beitz fought back, firing double legs and sweep singles.  He scored a late takedown, but it wasn't enough.  Mastriani kept the Hokies rolling, and staked them to a 9-6 team lead.

157 LBS

Cody Law DEC David Wesley 10-4

This was supposed to be an uneventful match between two unranked wrestlers.  It was anything but that.

Freshman Cody Law came out firing, scoring two takedowns in the first period for a 4-2 lead.  Law took down to start the 2nd period, escaped, and scored again.  With his coaches yelling "cut him" from the corner, Law released Wesley to shoot for more points.  Cody scored a fourth takedown, and rode out the 2nd period for a 9-3 lead with more than 1 minute of riding time.

But such a furious pace is difficult to maintain.  Wesley escaped to start the 3rd period, and, from somewhere, pulled reserves to fire single leg shots of his own.  If not for the heroics at heavyweight, this might have been your match of the meet.  Tons of shots, zero quit for either man.  Law won, and sent Penn State to halftime with the score tied at 9.

165 LBS

Garrett Hammond TF5 Chris Moon, 17-2

If you thought the second half would slow down, you were wrong.  Garrett Hammond opened the first period with a five point move - taking down Moon and putting him on his back for 3 exposure points.  Moon fought out of it momentarily, but Hammond put him in trouble again, securing two more back points to finish the 1st period with a 7-0 lead.

Hammond escaped to start the second period.  Moon shot and scored to close the gap to 8-2 Hammond.  But Garrett escaped, fired a shot of his own, and after a wild, 30+ second scramble, he came out on top for two.  11-2 Hammond, with 3:05 riding time as the pair headed to the 3rd period.

Moon chose neutral to start the third, rather than take down.  It didn't work out.  Hammond scored another takedown, cranking a turk off of a scramble, and starting getting more referee swipes.  Two more near fall points for Garrett left him far out front, with a 16-2 lead.  He rode out the third period to record the technical fall, 17-2.  The five match points for the tech put Penn State up 14-9, and Lion fans at ease - for the moment.

174 LBS

#9 Zach Epperly DEC #2 Matt Brown, 8-6 OT

Gone - again.  Just when you thought Penn State would take this dual over, the Hokies came out of their corner fighting.  Hard.

Matt Brown stunned Epperly with his power early.  He scored a takedown in the first and rode Epperly to accumlate 1:02 in riding time to end the first.  Brown started down and escaped quickly to start the second period.  Just as it looked like Matt would force his will, Epperly scored with a beautiful low single to Brown's lead foot.

Undeterred, Brown counterpunched.  He shot, and, after a brief scramble, came out on top for a takedown just before the buzzer.  He ended the second period with a seemingly comfortable 6-3 lead.

Epperly took down and escaped quickly to begin the 3rd period, but Brown still held a 1:04 riding time advantage.  Then, with about 30 second left in the dual, Epperly shot.  The two scrambled for close to 20 seconds.  Epperly came out on top for two, and cut Brown's riding time to juuuussstt under 1 minute.  We were headed to overtime.

Given the action to this point in the dual, you knew there'd be no rideouts.  There weren't.  Brown shot, Epperly shot, and then Brown got in deep on a single leg.  Desperate and nearly taken down, Epperly dove for Brown's ankle in the traditional Pennsylvania "funk".  He secured Brown's ankle to his chest, rolled, and used an inhuman gyro to come out on top for the match winning takedown, 8-6.

Virginia Tech stole one from Penn State to bring the dual to 14-12.  And the capacity Rec Hall crowd was deafeningly silent.

184 LBS

Austin Gabel DEC #18 Matt McCutcheon 5-3

This wouldn't be a great dual meet without upsets.  Here was your third (at least) of the night.

Austin Gabel, on an ordinary night, might not shoot a ton.  But in Rec Hall, against the 4x defending champs?  Well, why mess around?  Gabel fired right handed, head inside sweep single after right handed, head inside sweep single.  He scored once in the first period, and again in the third off the same shot, though he was close to more than a few others.  Matt "Mighty Mouse" McCutcheon shot nearly as often, using a nice high crotch to his opponent's lead leg.  But the finish isn't quite there yet, for the freshman.  This learning experience went into the books as a 5-3 loss for Matt.  And Gabel had stolen all of the Rec Hall crowd's mojo, putting the Hokies in front, 15-14.

197 LBS

#4 Morgan McIntosh DEC Jared Haught 5-0

Penn State needed points.  Our Lions had to have this match, especially when, on paper, we held a decided advantage.  But VaTech wasn't giving any easy points tonight.

Morg and Haught battled scoreless through the first period.  Morg took down to star the 2nd, escaped, and the pair battled through another minute and change of tie ups, beating on each other's heads.

But in the third period, with Haught choosing down, Morg got on his horse. He rode.  And, with about 10 seconds remaining, Morgan turned Haught to his back.  Haught was flat, but time ran out.  Haught escaped the fall, but gave up three near fall points plus a riding time point.  Morg put the Lions back in front of the Hokies, 17-15.

285 LBS

Jimmy Lawson DEC #6 Ty Walz, 5-3 OT

So the dual came down to the last match of the evening.  Winner takes all, as the two largest men on each squad stepped forward.

If you thought this would be another boring contest between two shaved bears, think again.  Walz fired shot after shot.  Lawson countered with incredibly nimble feet, and fought back for position himself.

At least ten hard shots were taken between the pair, with Walz holding the aggressiveness edge.  Walz chose down in the second and escaped quickly, but Lawson took and finished a shot of his own, staking a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period.

Jimmy took down, and escaped for a 3-1 lead.  Walz fired incredible shots.  Lawson countered brilliantly.  And then, with 6 seconds remaining, Walz fired, and converted.  The pair rolled out of bounds.  Just 3 seconds remained, with the score knotted at 3.  Lawson came back to center, stood up off the whistle, and hit a Granby roll.  The crowd exploded, Walz scrambled like a lightweight, and the two went out of bounds again.  The referees went to the instant replay and decided that Walz had maintained control.  We were headed to overtime.  Again.

And like before, there would be no stupid rideouts.  Walz shot.  Lawson stuffed Walz's single and immediately fired a right handed shot of his own.  He was in deep.  Walz dove at Lawson's trail ankle to funk, but Lawson stayed on his knees, cut the corner, kicked his ankle free, and scored the winning takedown.

Match over.  Dual over.  Everybody won.