There was hype and then there was HYPE.
A lot of build up led to the showdown between the third ranked Cowboys and the 24th ranked Scarlet Knights. The main attraction was Nick Suriano vs. Daton Fix at 133 to go along with plenty of other ranked match-ups. Here are some observations from the tough loss at the RAC.
Long Reviews and Controversies during Suriano/Fix
This match was absolute “bizzaro” world. Suriano and Fix were tied 1-1 after two periods with a lot of defense. As the match headed into sudden victory, neither wrestler gave an inch.
Here’s where it got crazy. The first tiebreaker period featured Suriano on bottom and he earned an escape along with what appeared to be locked hands on Fix, which would have given Suriano a 3-1 lead. Goodale challenged the call but the initial call (no locked hands) stood.
Upon closer inspection during the replay, it did in fact appear Fix locked hands. A double whammy: missed call on the mat and a missed call on the review.
In the second thirty seconds, Suriano rode Fix and gave up an escape and then he appeared to lock hands which was actually called on the mat. The refs reviewed and ruled Suriano did not and they had Fix go back down. This review took 12 minutes, much to the dismay of the RAC crowd.
Wait, it gets better, Suriano nearly rode out Fix until he escaped with less than two seconds remaining in the second half of the tiebreaker. Then, Oklahoma State coach John Smith threw out the challenge brick to try and determine if Suriano had locked hands…again!
After another lengthy review, it was 2-2 and they went to the second sudden victory period. With just 14 seconds remaining, Suriano was called for a technical violation for hands to the face, giving Fix a 3-2 win.
These two are likely to meet again, but it’s safe to say there were some ticky-tacky calls inside the RAC at 133 pounds.
In total, the match lasted 31 minutes. Their previous high school showdown was nearly 34 minutes. So, I guess that’s some improvement.
Ashnault Remains Undefeated, has a little fun
Anthony Ashnault had a big time matchup with Kaden Gfeller, who came in ranked No. 5 according to Flo Wrestling. The two were evenly matched. So much so, Gfeller got the first takedown. The Scarlet Knight would eventually prevail 10-7 and gestured toward the Oklahoma State bench with his “finger guns.”
He would say after the match, he was having some fun and only did it because Oklahoma State is in fact...the Cowboys. Gfeller took exception and shoved him afterwards. You can view that exchange below.
Although he earned the thrilling win, Ashnault was one of only two victories for the Scarlet Knights on the afternoon. Both teams were deducted one team point.
Oh man. After No. 2 Anthony Ashnault defeats No. 6 Kaden Dfeller and gives him the pistol fingers and Dfeller takes exception. The Oklahoma State grappler pushes him and both sides got a one-point deduction as a result. pic.twitter.com/isTkCpHVAA— Brian Fonseca (@briannnnf) January 13, 2019
149-P2 | It's 6-6 after Ashnault lands this takedown. Ashnault bottom for P3. Ashnault with 1:02 of RT. pic.twitter.com/9zOAzehCr2— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) January 13, 2019
It was absolutely electric inside the RAC as there was an announced attendance of 7,545 screaming fans. These are the types of events that make Rutgers one of the better home gym advantages and venues in general for wrestling.
Peter Lipari, Stephan Glasgow, and Matt Correnti all had opportunities for upsets. In a “what if” world, you can combine those bouts with Suriano’s and get a 12 point swing. By the math, Rutgers would have won 17-14 if those matches go in favor of the Scarlet Knights.
Of course, it did not go there way, but the entire dual meet was a lot closer than the score indicated.
This is the meat of Rutgers’ schedule. Three of the next four matches are against Top 25 opponents, including a road date with No. 4 Iowa this coming Friday.
125: (OKST) No. 4 Nick Piccininni TF (RU) Shane Metzler: 17-0
133: (OKST) No. 6 Daton Fix DEC (RU) No. 2 Nick Suriano: 3-2 SV2
141: (OKST) No. 13 Kaid Brock DEC (RU) Peter Lipari: 9-6
149: (RU) No. 2 Anthony Ashnault DEC (OKST) No. 5 Kaden Gfeller: 10-7
157: (RU) No. 15 John Van Brill DEC (OKST) Jonce Blaylock: 4-3
165: (OKST) Andrew Shomers DEC (RU) Stephan Glasgow: 5-4
174: (OKST) No. 5 Joe Smith DEC (RU) Joe Grello: 9-6
184: (OKST) No. 11 Jacobe Smith MD (RU) Willie Scott: 14-5
197: (OKST) No. 13 Dakota Geer DEC (RU) Matt Correnti: 4-2
HWT: (OKST) No. 3 Derek White DEC (RU) Christian Colucci: 4-2