• Brandon Dodson

Thanksgiving Did Not Come Early For the Buckeyes

Ohio State returned home Sunday November 17th to wrestle the Virginia Tech Hokies. Both teams have started the season 2-0, with the 3rd ranked Buckeyes defeating Stanford and Pittsburgh and the 11th ranked Hokies defeating Missouri and Northwestern. On paper, Ohio State was set to win this match comfortably but one move changed the entire dual. Virginia Tech won 6/10 matches on their way to a 21-15 victory. Please read below for match by match details and to find out what move changed the entire dual.


The match started at 133 pounds with Ohio State’s Quinn Kinner, a redshirt freshman who is currently ranked as the No. 18 133 pounder in the country. Kinner came into the match with a 5-3 record. Kinner’s opponent, Collin Gerardi, a redshirt freshman is the No. 17 133 pounder. Gerardi came into the match with a 1-1 record. There was very little action in the first period ending 0-0. Gerardi deferred to start the second period so Kinner chose to go down. Gerardi accrued 1.5 minutes of riding time before Kinner escaped making the score 1-0 to end the second period. Gerardi chose down to begin the third period and was able to get a reversal then 4 near fall points to make the score 6-1 Gerardi. Kinner was not able get an escape so the match ended by a 7-1 decision making the team score 3-0 Virginia Tech.


At 141 pounds, Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher, a senior and the No. 1 141 pounder in the country came into the match with 7-0 record. Pletcher’s opponent, Mitch Moore, a sophomore is the No. 19 141 pounder in the country. Moore came into this match with a 2-0 record. Both of Moore’s victories were by fall. Moore is a graduate of Graham high school in St. Paris Ohio. Many fans made the 90 minute trip to Columbus so they could cheer on Moore and his brother. As many of you know, Graham high school has been one of the wrestling power houses in Ohio for many years. As the match started, Pletcher got to his offense quickly with two takedowns in the first period making the score 4-2. Pletcher deferred to start the second period and Moore chose to go down. Pletcher accrued 1 minute of riding time before Moore escaped making the score 4-3. Pletcher was able to end the period with a takedown making the score 6-3. Pletcher chose to go neutral to start the third period and was able to get 3 more takedowns winning the match by a 13-5 major decision. This made the team score 4-3 OSU.


At 149 pounds, Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso, a redshirt freshman who is the No.6 149 pounder in the country came into the match with a 7-0 record. Sasso’s opponent, Brent Moore, a redshirt junior is the No. 21 149 pounder. Moore came into this match with a season record of 0-2. Early in the first period Sasso was caught in a pancake and Moore pinned him at the 1:16 mark. This upset victory by Moore changed the entire dual for Ohio State and absolutely silenced the Ohio State crowd. Moore’s pin made the team score 9-4 Virginia Tech.


At 157 pounds, Ohio State’s Elijah Cleary, a redshirt junior came into the match with a 2-3 record. Cleary’s opponent, B.C. LaPrade, a redshirt junior is the No. 13 157 pounder in the country. LaPrade came into the match with a 1-1 record. There was very little action in the first period ending 0-0. Cleary chose to go down to start the second period and was able to escape making the score 1-0. LaPrade was able to get a takedown right at the end of the period making the score 2-1. LaPrade chose to go down to start the third period and escaped quickly making the score 3-1. Cleary was unable to score so the match ended in a 3-1 decision for LaPrade. This made the team score 12-4 Virginia Tech.


At 165 pounds, Ohio State’s Ethan Smith, a redshirt sophomore is the No. 21 165 pounder in the country. Smith came into the match with a 5-3 record on the season. Smith’s opponent, David McFadden, a redshirt senior is the No. 4 165 pounder in the country. McFadden came into the match with a 2-0 record on the season. Smith started the match off with a quick takedown making the score 2-0. McFadden was able to escape making the score 2-1. McFadden then got a takedown at the end of the first period but Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan threw the challenge brick. Ohio State won the challenge and McFadden was hit with a penalty point due to an illegal move making the score 3-1 Smith to end the first period. McFadden chose to go down to start the second period and was hit with another penalty making the score 4-1. I was unable to see from my vantage point but it appeared he grabbed the edge of the mat leading to the penalty point. Once the wrestler’s reset McFadden was able to escape making the score 4-2. McFadden was able to get a takedown at the end of the period making the score 4-4. To start the third period, Smith chose to go down. Smith was able to get the escape and win the match in a huge upset by a 5-4 decision. This made the team score 12-7 Virginia Tech.


At 174 pounds, Ohio State’s Rocky Jordan, a redshirt freshman came into the match with a 7-2 record. Jordan’s opponent, Cody Hughes, a redshirt senior came into the match with a 0-2 record. Rocky started the first period with a takedown making the score 2-0. Jordan deferred to start the second period so Hughes chose to go down. Hughes got a quick escape making the score 2-1. Jordan took another shot but was caught in a pancake which led to a Hughes takedown and 2 near fall points making the score 5-2 Hughes to end the second period. Jordan chose neutral to start the third period. There was very little movement in this period and Jordan was hit with a stalling making the score 6-2. The match ended with Hughes winning by 7-2 decision. This made the team score 15-7 Virginia Tech.


At 184 pounds, Ohio State’s Zach Steiner, a redshirt sophomore came into the match with a 1-0 record. Steiner’s opponent, Hunter Bolen, a redshirt sophomore is the No. 9 184 pounder in the country. Bolen came into the match with a 2-0 record on the season. Bolen was able to get one takedown in the first period making the score 2-0. Bolen chose to go down to start the second period and was able to quickly escape making the score 3-0. Bolen was able to get one more takedown in the second period making the score 5-0. Steiner chose to go down to start the third period and Bolen chose an optional start making the score 5-1. Bolen was able to get one more takedown in the third period winning by an 8-1 decision. This made the team score 18-7 Virginia Tech.


At 197 pounds, Ohio State’s Kollin Moore, a redshirt senior who is the No. 1 197 pounder in the country came into the match with a 7-0 record. Moore’s opponent, Stan Smeltzer, a redshirt sophomore came into the match with a 3-3 record. Moore was able to get 3 takedowns in the first period making the score 6-2. Moore chose to go down to start the second period and was able to quickly escape making the score 7-2. Moore was able to tack on 3 more takedowns making the score 14-4 at the end of the second period. Smeltzer chose to go down to start the third period and Moore chose an optional start making the score 14-5. Moore was able to tack on 5 takedowns in the third period winning by technical superiority 24-9. Moore’s victory made the team score 18-12 Virginia Tech.


At heavy weight, Ohio State’s Chase Singletary, a redshirt sophomore is the No. 11 heavy weight in the country. Singletary came into the match with a 1-0 record on the season. Singletary’s opponent, John Borst, a redshirt sophomore came into the match with a 2-0 record. There was very little offense in the first period ending 0-0. Borst deferred to start the second period so Singletary chose to go down. Singletary was able to escape making the score 1-0. Singletary was able to tack on a takedown to end the second period making the score 3-0. Borst chose to go neutral to start the third period. Borst got a late takedown but Singletary was able to get a quick escape making the final score a 4-2 decision for Singletary. This made the team score 18-15 Virginia Tech.


Going into the last match everyone knew Ohio State needed a major decision to win the dual. An 18-18 tie would go to Virginia Tech by criteria due to the pin at 149 pounds.


At 125 pounds, Ohio State’s Malik Heinselman is a sophomore and the No. 21 125 pounder in the country. Heinselman came into the match with a 5-3 record on the season. Heinselman’s opponent, Joey Prata is a redshirt junior. Prata came into the match with a 2-0 record on the season. Prata won both of his matches 2-0 decisions. Heinselman was able to get an early takedown making the score 2-0. Prata was able to get an escape cutting Heinselman’s lead to 2-1 to end the first period. Heinselman deferred to start the second period and Prata chose to go down. Prata escaped making the score 2-2. Prata got a takedown late in the second period making the score 4-2. Heinselman chose to go down to start the third period and was unable to escape making the final score a 5-2 decision for Prata. This victory made the final team score 21-15 Virginia Tech.


It is still early in the season but there continue to be a lot of questions with the Ohio State lineup. This lineup has a lot of talented wrestlers but there are also a few glaring holes in the middle on this lineup. If we want to compete in the Big Ten and nationally we need to wrestle the best wrestlers at each weight regardless of age.


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Written By Brandon Dodson

Follow on twitter @RecruitingBucks

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