UNIVERSITY PARK - True freshman Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.) sparked Penn State with an upset victory over No.1 Logan Stieber at 141 to lead the Penn State Nittany Lion wrestling team to a 31-6 win over No. 6 Ohio State in Rec Hall on Sunday. An SRO sell-out crowd of over 6,300 watched as head coach Cael Sanderson's team dominated the Buckeyes on the Big Ten Network.
Junior Nico Megaludis (Murrysville, Pa.), ranked No. 3 at 125, got Penn State off to a hot start, dominating No. 19 Nick Roberts to the tune of a 21-4 technical fall at the 6:54 mark. Red-shirt freshman Jimmy Gulibon (Latrobe, Pa.), ranked No. 15 at 133, nearly pulled off the upset at 133 but dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 6 Johnni DeJulius on 1:19 in riding time.
That's when true freshman Retherford, who was ranked No. 8 at 141, down previously unbeaten and top-ranked Stieber in sudden victory. 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.
At 149, red-shirt freshman Zack Beitz (Mifflintown, Pa.) posted the most impressive win of his young Lion career, downing No. 19 Ian Paddock 5-3 to put the Lions up 11-3. Senior James Vollrath (Richboro, Pa.) closed out the first half with an 11-5 decision over Buckeye Randy Languis to send Penn State into the halftime break with a 14-3 lead.
Senior David Taylor (St. Paris, Ohio), ranked No. 1 at 165, got Penn State started after the halftime break by dominating 20-5 technical fall at the 7:00 mark over Ohio State's Joe Grandominico. Taylor rolled up 5:37 in riding time in the victory. Taylor remained unbeaten on the year, moving to 11-0. Junior Matt Brown (West Valley City, Utah), ranked No. 3 at 174, majored Mark Martin 16-4 with 3:39 in time to put the Lions up 23-3. Brown stayed undefeated with the win, moving to 11-0.
Senior Ed Ruth (Harrisburg, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 184, returned to action for Penn State with a resounding 14-3 major over No. 12 Kenny Courts of Ohio State. Ruth built up 5:09 in riding time, marking the second Lion (joining Taylor) to amass over 5:00 in time. At 197, Lion sophomore Morgan McIntosh (Santa Ana, Calif.), ranked No. 3 nationally, was held out as a precaution and red-shirt freshman Wes Phipps (Grove City, Pa.) moved up from 184 to take on No. 5 Nick Heflin. Phipps nearly pulled off the upset but the ranked Buckeye countered a Phipps shot late in the final period for a 3-1 win. Junior Jimmy Lawson (Tom's River, N.J.), ranked No. 12 at 285, closed out the dual a dominating 15-4 major of his own, with over 3:00 in riding time as well.
Penn State improves to 6-0, 1-0 in the Big Ten with the win while Ohio State falls to 4-1, 0-1 in conference action. Sanderson's Lions dominated the dual from start to finish, posting a 34-3 margin in takedowns and tallying up two tech falls and three majors.
Taylor and Ruth continue to climb the Penn State career charts. Taylor is now 111-3 with 44 pins, 16th all-time at Penn State. 104 of his 111 wins is with bonus points as well. He now has 52 dual meet wins, tied for 11th all-time at Penn State. Ruth moves to 113-2 overall, alone in 14th on Penn State's all-time victories list.
The sell-out crowd of 6,380 is Penn State's 14th-straight home sellout, including last weekend's record-setter in the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State was without the services of No. 7 Andrew Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) at 149 and No. 5 Dylan Alton (Mill Hall, Pa.) at 157. The twins are slated for a late December return after off-season surgeries.
The Lions will trek to Iowa City, Iowa, next weekend for a non-conference dual in Carver-Hawkeye Arena against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The dual is set for Saturday, Dec. 21, at 9 p.m. Eastern (8 p.m. Central) and will air live on the Big Ten Network. Penn State's next home dual is set for Sunday, Jan. 12, when the Lions welcome Purdue to Rec Hall for a 2 p.m. showdown.
--Penn State Athletics Communications