• Brandon Dodson

Buckeyes Bludgeon the Badgers in Madison

The Buckeyes entered unfriendly territory Friday night when they faced off against No. 8 Wisconsin in Madison. The Badgers wrestle in the UW Fieldhouse that seats just over 7,000 fans, it can be very intimidating to opposing teams. The crowd was very loud Friday but thankfully weather kept some fans from coming out. In a pre-game interview Coach Bono from Wisconsin was asked what his strategy was to win the dual, he stated he wants his team to lean on their conditioning to take Ohio State out to deep water and drown them. The Buckeyes won 6/10 matches on their way to a 24-13 victory, improving their record to 6-1. The Buckeye’s return to the Covelli Center Sunday afternoon to face off against the Fighting Illini. Please read below for match by match details.


The dual started at 125 pounds with Ohio State’s Malik Heinselman, a Sophomore. Heinselman came into the match with a 9-9 record on the season. Heinselman’s opponent, Eric Barnett, a freshman came into the match with an 8-3 record. Barnett started the match out quickly with a takedown and two nearfall points jumping out to a 4-0 lead. Barnett was able to accrue over 1.5 minutes of riding time to end the first period. Barnett chose to go down to start the second period and Heinselman was able to ride Barnett long enough to erase the riding time point. Barnett was eventually able to escape increasing his lead to 5-0. Heinselman then went on the attack getting a takedown making the score 5-2. Heinselman quickly cut Barnett loose making it 6-2 to end the second period. Heinselman chose to go neutral to start the third period. Heinselman was able to get two takedowns in the third period but was unable to overcome the deficit making the final score an 8-6 decision for Barnett. Barnett’s decision made the team score 3-0 Wisconsin.


At 133 pounds, Ohio State’s Jordan Decatur, a true freshman and the No. 20 133-pounder in the country came into the match with a 9-2 record. Decatur’s opponent, Seth Gross, a redshirt Senior and the No. 1 133-pounder in the country came into the match with a 17-1 record. Decatur was able to get the first takedown of the match but got called for a stall due to inactivity. This allowed Gross to escape making the score 2-1 Decatur. Gross then took Decatur down and turned him getting four nearfall points making the score 7-2 to end the first period. Decatur chose to go neutral to start the second period and was able to get back to his offense taking Gross down once again making the score 7-4. Gross was able to get a quick reversal increasing his lead to 9-4. Decatur was called for a second stalling increasing Gross’ lead to 10-4. Gross was able to accrue over 2.5 minutes of riding time before the second period ended. Gross chose to go down to start the third period and quickly escaped making the score 11-4. Decatur was once again able to take Gross down making the score 11-6. Gross was able to get another reversal increasing his lead to 13-6. Decatur was called for his third stalling increasing Gross’ lead to 14-6 to end the match. With riding time, the final score was a 15-6 major decision for Gross. Gross’ major decision made the team score 7-0 Wisconsin. Despite losing by major decision it was very impressive Decatur, a true freshman was able to take National Champion Gross down three times.


At 141 pounds, Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher, a Senior and the No. 1 141-pounder in the country came into the match with a 16-0 record. Pletcher’s opponent, Tristan Moran, a redshirt Senior and the No. 4 141-pounder in the country came into the match with a 14-2 record. Moran received Big Ten Wrestler of the week this past week after defeating No. 3 Mitch Mckee of Minnesota in a 7-6 decision and No. 9 Chad Red of Nebraska in a 9-4 decision. The match started out with Pletcher getting a quick takedown that was overturned due to the ref calling the takedown a half second too soon. Pletcher was unfazed because he ended the first period with 3 takedowns, 1.5 minutes of riding time, and a 6-2 lead. Wisconsin chose to go down to start the second period and quickly escaped making the score 6-3. Pletcher scored one takedown before the second period ended making the score 8-3. Pletcher chose to go neutral to start the third period. Pletcher fought off multiple attacks this period but was able to get one more takedown making the final score an 11-3 major decision. Pletcher’s major decision made the team score 7-4 Wisconsin. Pletcher is now 9-0 vs top-25 opponents with a +69 point differential this season.


At 149 pounds, Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso, a redshirt Freshman and the No. 6 149-pounder in the country came into the match with a 14-2 record. Sasso’s opponent, Cole Martin, a redshirt Senior and the No. 13 149-pounder in the country came into the match with a 10-5 record. Sasso came out strong with two takedowns and four nearfall points to make the score 8-1 to end the first period. Sasso chose to go down to start the second period and was able to quickly escape increasing his lead to 9-1. There was no more action in this period. Martin chose to go neutral to start the third period and was able to break through Sasso’s defense scoring a takedown. Sasso was able to escape making the score 10-3. Sasso’s corner continued to yell one more takedown as time started to run out. Sasso was able to score a last second takedown securing a 12-3 major decision and an important bonus point for the Buckeyes. Sasso’s major decision made the team score 8-7 Ohio State.


At 157 pounds, Ohio State’s Elijah Cleary, a redshirt Junior came into the match with a 11-7 record. Cleary’s opponent, Drew Scharenbrock, a redshirt Freshman came into the match with a 17-7 record. Cleary looked aggressive in this match, getting a quick takedown making the score 2-1 to end the first period. Cleary chose to go down to start the second period and was able to get a reversal making the score 4-1. Cleary was able to accrue over 1 minute of riding time before Scharenbrock escaped cutting Cleary’s lead to 4-2 to end the second period. Scharenbrock chose to go down to start the third period and quickly escaped making the score 4-3 Cleary. Scharenbrock attacked Cleary multiple times but was unable to get through Cleary’s defense. Cleary was able to take a shot of his own scoring the final takedown of the match. The match’s final score was a 7-3 decision for Cleary. Cleary’s decision made the team score 11-7 Ohio State. This was the best Cleary has looked all year. Tom Ryan stated, in the wrestling room Cleary wrestles with the best of them but it has not quite translated to the mat. Hopefully this victory can turn Cleary’s season around.


At 165 pounds, Ohio State’s Ethan Smith, a redshirt Sophomore and the No. 12 165-pounder in the country came into the match with a 12-6 record. Smith’s opponent, Evan Wick, a redshirt Junior and the No. 4 165-pounder in the country came into the match with a 17-2 record. Smith started the first period out with a quick takedown but Wick was able to escape making the score 2-1. Wick was then able to snag Smith’s leg with his extreme length. Wick was able to rack up over 1 minute of riding time to end the first period with a 3-2 lead. Wisconsin deferred to start the second period and Smith chose to go neutral. Wick was able to get one more takedown before the second period ended making the score 5-2 with over 2 minutes of riding time. Wick chose to go down to start third period and quickly escaped increasing his lead to 6-2. Smith did not give up and got a late takedown making the final score a 7-4 decision for Wick. Wick’s decision made the team score 11-10 Ohio State. Smith has looked impressive this season but 165 pounds may be the toughest weight class in the country.


At 174 pounds, Ohio State’s Kaleb Romero, a redshirt sophomore and the No. 8 174-pounder in the country came into the match with a 11-2 record. Romero’s opponent, Jarred Krattiger, a redshirt Freshman came into the match with a 6-10 record. Romero was able to score the only takedown of the first period making the score 2-1 to end the period. Krattiger chose to go down to start the second period and was able to quickly escape tying the match at 2-2. Romero was able to score one more takedown and accrue over 1 minute of riding time ending the second period with a 4-2 lead. Romero chose to go neutral to start the third period. Romero scored the only takedown in the third period ending the match with a 7-3 decision. Romero’s victory made the team score 14-10 Ohio State.


At 184 pounds, Ohio State’s Rocky Jordan, a redshirt Freshman came into the match with a 20-4 record. Jordan’s opponent, Tyler Dow, a redshirt Freshman came into the match with a 7-9 record. Jordan started the first period on fire with two takedowns and 6 nearfall points making the score 10-1 to end the first period. Jordan chose to go neutral to start the second period and was able to tack on two more takedowns and 6 more nearfall points ending the match with a 20-2 tech fall victory. Jordan’s impressive victory made the team score 19-10 Ohio State. Although it was against an unranked opponent Jordan looked much more comfortable than last week. As Jordan continues to grow into the weight I think he will only get better.


At 197 pounds, Ohio State’s Kollin Moore, a redshirt Senior and the No. 1 197-pounder in the country came into the match with a 16-0 record. Moore’s opponent, Peter Christensen, a Freshman came into the match with a 6-5 record. Moore ended the first period with three takedowns and two nearfall points making the score 8-2. Moore chose to go down to start the second period and was able to quickly escape increasing his lead to 9-2. Moore was able to score three more takedowns with 6 nearfall points ending the match in a 21-3 tech fall. Moore’s tech fall made the team score 24-10 Ohio State and secured the dual for the Buckeyes. This victory was Moore’s 100th as a Buckeye.


At Heavy Weight, Ohio State’s Gary Traub, a redshirt Junior came into the match with a 16-2 record. Traub’s opponent, Trent Hillger, a redshirt Sophomore and the No. 5 heavy weight in the country came into the match with a 15-3 record. Late in the first period Hillger hit a strong double leg along the edge of the mat scoring a takedown, ending the first period 2-0. Hillger chose to go down to start the second period and was able to quickly escape increasing his lead to 3-0 to end the second period. Traub chose to go neutral to start the third period. Traub took multiple shots but was unable to break through Hillger’s defense. Hillger scored one more takedown before the match ended making the final score a 6-0 decision for Hillger. Hillger’s decision made the final team score 24-13 Ohio State.


This was an impressive dual victory for Tom Ryan and the Buckeyes. They were on the road in a tough environment and on paper it was projected to be a very close match. It appears the Buckeyes are starting to figure out their lineup. I still have a few questions at 125 and 157 but I cannot deny the tremendous progress that has been made.


Written By Brandon Dodson

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Photo Credit given to @wrestlingbucks

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