Penn State survives flu,Lehigh

By Todd Irwin


UNIVERSITY PARK – When Penn State’s Creighton Edsell escaped in the second period at 165 against Lehigh’s Brian Meyer, someone in Rec Hall sarcastically yelled “Review that.”

That’s because there were four video reviews in the first five bouts, including three in PSU unknown Tony Negron’s wild and controversial 5-4 loss to Josh Humphreys at 157.

Edsell hung on to beat Meyer, a returning NCAA qualifier, 2-1. Two bouts later, Donovon Ball, a replacement for ill NCAA champion Aaron Brooks, defeated AJ Burkhart, 5-3, at 184. Both bouts were pivotal in the flu-stricken Nittany Lions’ 23-16 win on Sunday afternoon.

“We knew a week ago that this week was going to be a challenge, but also an opportunity,” Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. “It was an opportunity for guys to step up that maybe wouldn’t be in the lineup regularly. It’s just a chance for everybody to step up – whether you’re new to the lineup or somebody we need bonus points out of.”

No. 2 Penn State (5-0) and Lehigh (3-2) split the first four bouts. Lehigh’s Jaret Lane beat Jake Campbell, 11-3 at 125, and Roman Bravo-Young followed with a 19-7 major decision over Sheldon Seymour.

NCAA champion Nick Lee, who is battling the flu, gutted out a 13-6 win over Connor McGonagle at 141. Lee was sick when he beat Penn’s Carmen Ferrante, 6-3, on Friday. Lee said he felt “pretty good,” but he gave up a reversal and a takedown on Sunday for his 100thcareer win.

“If we didn’t need him, he wouldn’t have wrestled this week,” Sanderson said. “That’s just a gutsy, kind of a leader-type of move on his part.”

“In my mind, it’s not really a choice. You just go,” Lee said. “Hopefully that’s a good example for the other guys on my way out of the program.”

Then the reviews came. At 149, Lehigh’s energetic Manzona Bryant IV took Beau Bartlett down with 22 seconds left for a 6-5 lead.

It appeared Bartlett escaped with 5 seconds left to tie the score, but referee Angel Rivera didn’t award the escape. The PSU coaching staff called for a review, but lost the review when Rivera and mat judge Nate Chapman upheld the call.

A missed takedown by Negron, a North Carolina State transfer wrestling in his first bout, was upheld in the first period as he held a 2-1 lead. Humphreys was leading, 4-2, when Negron got a takedown. The refs called for a review, but the takedown was upheld.

Negron released him and appeared to get a takedown with 5 seconds left, but Lehigh called for a review. Upon review, the takedown was waved off. The Rec Hall crowd booed its displeasure.

“I just think it’s good wrestling,” Sanderson said. “I think their guy was wrestling through the positions. We’ve just got to cement those takedowns a little bit. There was a lot of scrambling.”

With his team losing, 10-7, coming out of halftime, Edsell earned a 2-1 win over Meyer, with riding time making the difference. Edsell also earned a win on Friday.

“Huge weekend,” Sanderson said. “Creighton wrestled great and beat a really tough kid. Hopefully that’s a big confidence booster for him.”

After NCAA champ Carter Starocci majored Jake Logan, 13-3, at 174, Ball scored two takedowns and held a 4-3 lead over Burkhart going into the third. He escaped with 47.8 seconds left and held off Burkhart’s attacks to win.

“I think Ball did a great job,” Sanderson said. “He had two competitive matches (this week). When you have the national champion ahead of you at the weight at the school, you’re not really sure you’re going to get an opportunity. He went out there and got that done.”

With Greg Kerkvliet out at 285 with the flu, unknown Eddie Smith was announced at the weight. Sanderson revealed he was going to send 197-pounder Michael Beard out at 285 in the dual meet win was on the line.

It wasn’t on the line because Max Dean pinned J.T. Davis in 2:58 at 197 to clinch the win. The Lions forfeited to former NCAA All-American Jordan Wood at 285.

“We’re good. We’re moving on,” Sanderson said.

125–Lane, L, maj. dec. Campbell, 11-3; 133–Bravo-Young, PS, maj. dec. Seymour, 19-7; 141–Lee, PS, dec. McGonagle, 13-6; 149–Bryant IV, L, dec. Bartlett, 6-5; 157–Humphreys, L, dec. Negron, 5-4.

165–Edsell, PS, dec. Meyer, 2-1; 174–Starocci, PS, maj. dec. Logan, 13-3; 184–Ball, PS, dec. Burkhart, 5-3; 197–Dean, PS, pinned Davis, 2:58; 285–Wood, L, won by forfeit.

Records: Lehigh (3-2), Penn State (5-0)


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