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LHU puts up fight, but No. 1 Lions still roll

December 16, 2012
By Andy Elder - For the Mirror

UNIVERSITY PARK - During Penn State's two championship seasons, Lock Haven provided zero resistance. The Nittany Lions had posted 50-0 and 48-0 shutouts of the Bald Eagles in 2012 and 2011, respectively.

While Penn State earned another lopsided victory Saturday before a sellout crowd of 6,292 at Rec Hall, the win wasn't nearly as easy this time. Penn State's 42-3 win over the Bald Eagles was decidedly different.

Despite losing nine of 10 bouts and the takedown battle, 28-6, the Bald Eagles (1-2) took the battle to the Nittany Lions (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten), especially in the first five bouts.

"I didn't know what to expect. I know they're getting better and making progress. They pushed us around in a few weights. That's not something we like to see. They had a little more attitude, a little more fire and fight. You've really got to give them credit for coming into our house and pushing us around," Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said.

"I think that's a song or something that you don't like. It's an attitude thing. We have to make that decision to go out there and be ready to go regardless of who we're wrestling or when or where. They did a nice job. I think they beat us on the stalling call battle, which is not something we're too excited about, but they earned it."

Coming off a 52-0 whitewash of Indiana last Sunday, many Nittany Lion fans might have been expecting back-to-back shutouts. But it was apparent from the first bout that these Bald Eagles weren't about to roll over for the two-time defending NCAA champs.

LHU's Bobby Rehm scored the first takedown of the match, something Indiana didn't accomplish until the heavyweight bout. That seemed to give No. 3 Nico Megaludis a spark. He eventually pinned Rehm in 4:10.

It was one of four pins on the day for Penn State. No. 2 165-pounder David Taylor, No. 3 174-pounder Matt Brown and No. 3 197-pounder Quentin Wright all scored falls.

No. 1 184-pounder Ed Ruth rolled up a 17-2 technical fall.

Jordan Conaway rolled up a 13-3 major decision at 133. No. 5 Andrew Alton (149), No. 5 Dylan Alton (157) and No. 15 Jimmy Lawson (heavyweight) all earned decisions.

Penn State's only loss came at 141, where Lock Haven's Dan Neff used four takedowns and a riding time point to score a 9-4 decision over Bryan Pearsall.

The Nittany Lions sported blue, gray and white camouflage singlets as part of their Military Appreciation Day festivities.

It was something Matt Brown, a member of Penn State's Army ROTC was excited about.

"I thought it was awesome that they did do Military Appreciation Day. I'm in Army ROTC and I thought it was special," he said. "The Wounded Warrior Project is an awesome program and a great charity. It is special to be a part of it and wear the camouflage singlets."

Penn State now enters finals week and then will have a little more than a week off around Christmas before it comes back to campus and heads to the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2 at Chattanooga, Tenn.

125 -Megaludis, PS, pinned Rehm, 4:10; 133-Conaway, PS, maj. dec. Matt Bryer, 13-3; 141-Neff, LH, dec. Pearsall, 9-4; 149-A. Alton, PS, dec. Maldarelli, 10-6; 157-D. Alton, PS, dec. Kemerer, 5-2.

165-Taylor, PS, pinned McKinney, 3:39; 174-Brown, PS, pinned Heffner, 1:56; 184-Ruth, PS, tech. fall Garcia, 17-2, 4:55; 197-Wright, PS, pinned Sprenkle, 6:10; 285-Lawson, PS, dec. Turner, 5-1.

Ridge Riley Award winner-Matt Brown, 174 pounds. Referee-Jake Llewellyn. Takedowns: Lock Haven 6; Penn State 28.

Records: Lock Haven (1-2); Penn State (4-0).

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