Penn State Wrestling: Nittany Lions thump the Buckeyes 29-9

Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young gets ready before wrestling at 133 pounds during a NCAA Big Ten Conference wrestling dual against Iowa, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.220127 Penn St Iowa Wr 031 Jpg
Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young gets ready before wrestling at 133 pounds during a NCAA Big Ten Conference wrestling dual against Iowa, Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.220127 Penn St Iowa Wr 031 Jpg /

No. 1 Penn State Wrestling took it to Ohio State by cruising to the 29-9 win in Columbus, Ohio.

The Penn State Wrestling Team was back at it Friday evening as they traveled to Columbus, Ohio to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions were last on the mat a week ago when they took down Iowa 23-14 in a thrilling dual in the Bryce Jordan Center.

But you could make an argument that some of the action more closely resembled a game of tag in front of 16,000 people than it did wrestling. Whatever, moving on.

Ohio State gave Penn State a battle on the night, but the Nittany Lions proved tough and crushed the Buckeyes 29-9.

Now onto the action!

The dual started out at 125 where Gary Steen was back in the lineup for the Nittany Lions. But it certainly wasn’t sunshine and rainbows for Steen as Heinselman was overwhelming from the beginning.

After snagging an early takedown and tilting Steen for four near fall points, Malik turned him again, and this time his back hit the mat.

The fall gave the Buckeyes the early lead 6-0.

In the first ranked matchup of the evening, Roman Bravo-Young took on Jesse Mendez in a much-anticipated bout that pitted the reigning Co-Big Ten Wrestlers of the Week against each other.

Through the first two periods, RBY hit home on two beautiful takedowns on Mendez and the match was 4-1 in his favor going into the third.

Following an early escape in the final period, Bravo-Young landed his third takedown of the match and pushed his riding time to over a minute. Roman then cut Mendez loose to try and chase down the major decision.

But unfortunately, the clock hit triple zeros before RBY could snag another takedown and tack on any bonus point. His 8-2 decision cut Ohio State’s lead to 6-3 after the first two matches.

Beau Bartlett was up next for Penn State, and he was looking to get back into the win column after his first loss of the season last week to Iowa’s Real Woods.

Beau was able to counter a lazy reach from D’Emilio and get a first period takedown. Bartlett then rode his opponent out for the remainder of the period.

The grapplers traded escapes in the next two periods with little action from both sides shortly thereafter. Ultimately Bartlett was able to pull out the nail biting 4-2 decision and the Nittany Lions pulled even with Ohio State 6-6.

In the third straight ranked matchup, Shayne Van Ness had his hands full with Sammy Sasso.

Van Ness scored an early takedown on Sasso, but the match was mainly one-sided from that point on. The experience and athleticism of Sasso was on full display as he spent the majority of the match grinding Shayne’s face into the mat.

With the matches knotted up at 2 apiece, the Buckeyes still held the lead 9-6 due to their pin earlier in the dual.

Levi Haines continued to occupy the starting spot at 157 as he went to battle with Ohio State’s Paddy Gallagher.

And Haines put on a technical wrestling display by completely crushing Gallagher to the tune of a 14-2 turn-filled major decision.

At the halfway mark, the Nittany Lions had their first lead of the night 10-9

Coming out of the break, the ranked matchups continued with Alex Facundo set to lock horns with former All-American Carson Kharchla.

Facundo was also looking to get back to his winning ways after he lost to Iowa’s Patrick Kennedy.

The match was tied 0-0 going into the second period and Alex quickly escaped from the bottom position to gain the lead. Later in the second, Facundo was awarded a point from the official following Kharchla’s repeated hits to the face.

Was it a questionable call? Absolutely.

Moving on.

Facundo had top position to begin the final period and Kharckla snuck free to make the score 2-1 with less than a minute to go.

Action was hot and heavy with both grapplers looking to land a decisive takedown. After a late scramble, Facundo landed on top of Kharckla and he snagged the takedown and the win with a 4-1 decision.

Carter Starocci then went to work against Ethan Smith by earning two first period takedowns.

Starocci next worked his third takedown of the match late in the second period to make the score 6-3 and push his riding time to almost two full minutes.

A plethora of action unfolded in the final period with both grapplers locking in takedowns, but when the dust settled, Carter Starocci was victorious with an 11-5 decision.

With three matches remaining in the dual, Penn State opened up their lead to 16-9.

A top five matchup was on display with Aaron Brooks taking on Kaleb Romero at 184. There was a lot of action in the first period however neither guy could land the first takedown.

Brooks got on the board with an escape early in the second period and both wrestlers keep the pressure on to finish out the period.

Aaron was on top position to begin the third period up 1-0. Romero then pulled free to square the match 1-1. With riding time not a factor, each warrior looked to get to their offense.

And Brooks was the first to strike as he landed a beautiful single leg on the far boundary line and earn the first takedown of the match. With over a minute remaining in the match, Aaron went to work on top.

But Romero once again broke free to make the match 3-2 with 30 seconds left to go. Ohio State’s corner threw the challenge brick as they questioned whether or not Brooks grabbed Romero’s singlet.

Following a brief video review, the officials determined no points should be awarded and the match finished with Brooks winning with a 3-2 decision.

With two matches to go on the night, the Nittany Lions extended their lead to double digits, 19-9.

Max Dean followed up a late first period and cinched in his signature bow and arrow in the second period to pick up four additional near fall points.

But he wasn’t finished there. He then turned his opponent a second time and this time both shoulders hit the mat. The fall at the 4:28 mark gave Penn State the commanding 25-9 lead with only one match left to go.

Greg Kerkvliet hit the mat at 285 and he was nothing short of spectacular.

Kerk Kong landed an early takedown and he tried to tilt Orndorff, but instead he rode him out for the rest of the period.

Kerk kept the pressure on in the second period by snagging his second takedown immediately following an escape. Up 5-0 he continued to try and turn Orndorff from the top position.

With the grapplers going neutral to begin the third period, Greg landed his third takedown of the match and he proceeded to ride Tate out for the rest of the period.

Mercifully, the match ended with Kerk Kong pilling up roughly an hour of riding time.

Next on the schedule for Penn State is a trip to Bloomington to take on the Indiana Hoosiers this Sunday at 2:00pm.

No. 1 Penn State 29 No. 5 Ohio State 9

125 No. 10 Malik Heinselman (OSU) fall over Gary Steen (PSU) 1:56, PSU 0 OSU 6
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young (PSU) dec. over No. 9 Jesse Mendez (OSU) 8-2, PSU 3 OSU 6
141 No. 5 Beau Bartlett (PSU) dec. over No. 19 Dylan D’Emilio (OSU) 4-2, PSU 6 OSU 6
149 No. 3 Sammy Sasso (OSU) dec. over No. 13 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) 6-3, PSU 6 OSU 9
157 No. 9 Levi Haines (PSU) major dec. over No. 25 Paddy Gallagher (OSU) 14-2, PSU 10 OSU 9
165 No. 8 Alex Facundo (PSU) dec. over No. 12 Carson Kharchla (OSU) 4-1, PSU 13 OSU 9
174 No. 1 Carter Starocci (PSU) dec. over No. 7 Ethan Smith (OSU) 11-5, PSU 16 OSU 9
184 No. 1 Aaron Brooks (PSU) dec. over No. 5 Kaleb Romero (OSU) 3-2, PSU 19 OSU 9
197 No. 4 Max Dean (PSU) fall over No. 17 Gavin Hoffman (OSU) 4:28, PSU 25 OSU 9
285 No. 2 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) major dec. over No. 18 Tate Orndorff (OSU) 8-0, PSU 29 OSU 9