No. 12 Rutgers Wrestling continued their winning ways Friday night against American University down in our nation’s capital. The match was close early before Rutgers pulled away after the second bout and it was mostly smooth sailing from there, with the squad securing bonus points in six matches and taking nine of ten bouts overall.
With the win, the Scarlet Knights are 9-0 to start the season and have a chance to end the first semester 10-0 if they can take out Army next Friday at Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway.
At 125lbs, No. 23 ranked Dylan Shawver ended up in a closer than expected match after getting caught on his back during an escape attempt in the 3rd period. American’s Andy Fallon was close to scoring twice in the waning moments of the match, but Shawver held on, winning 5-4.
No. 11 ranked 133lbs starter Sammy Alvarez was given the night off as anticipated, so it was Devon Britton who took on Jack Maida of American. Britton almost got his arm ripped off early in the match on two bar attempts from Maida but was still able to get to his offense early. Unfortunately, Britton seemed to fade late and fell to Maida by decision, 6-2.
If there was any teetering coming from the Rutgers ship, it was righted quickly at 141lbs as No. 4 Sebastian Rivera scored a 20-3 technical fall over Ethan Szerencsits. Rivera worked three tilts on his way to the tech and continues to impress with his top wrestling early in the season.
The 149lbs tilt was up next between No. 25 Mike VanBrill and Patrick Ryan of American that saw lots of high-level scrambles in the first period, but no scoring. VanBrill chose bottom to start the 2nd period and got out quickly, then was able to take Ryan down for two.
Ryan almost got a reversal before escaping himself, making the score 3-1. VanBrill then worked a sort of ¾ nelson from what initially looked like a front headlock and wrenched Ryan over to secure the fall, as he continues to impress this season, now sitting at 8-0.
Rob Kanniard was next up at 157lbs as he took on Tony Segura, utilizing several leg turks off takedowns to keep Segura fighting to prevent back points throughout the match. Kanniard kept pouring it on as the match continued, eventually scoring a 17-2 technical fall with the riding time point as the 3rd period ended. The Kanniard result put Rutgers up 19-3 midway through the dual.
At 165lbs, the Scarlet Knight squad sent out Andrew Clark who faced off against Tim Fitzpatrick of American. Clark was down 3-0 entering the 3rd period but was able to gain an escape and then a quick takedown with about 90 seconds left in the match. Now tied 3-3, Clark then put on an awesome ride, holding Fitzpatrick down to secure the riding time point and the match, ending a five dual meet loss streak and showing a ton of heart in the win.
Next up, Connor O’Neill continued to fill in admirably for injured Jackson Turley, the No. 15 ranked wrestler at 174lbs. O’Neill was up against American’s Colin Shannon and was able to work a cradle off a single leg attempt, putting Shannon to his back early. Although it appeared O’Neill had Shannon flat a couple times, he wasn’t awarded the fall and Shannon eventually worked his way to his stomach near the end of the 1st period.
O’Neill, leading 6-0, then chose bottom for the second and was ridden out for the entire period by Shannon. Shannon, not looking to get experience anymore of O’Neill’s top game, chose neutral to start an action-packed 3rd period. Shannon scored a takedown early and O’Neill escaped quickly, Shannon then tried a YOLO throw, which Rutgers’ O’Neill saw coming and secured a takedown. After some late scores from Shannon, O’Neill was able to hold on and gain the 10-7 decision win.
No. 5 John Poznanski was up next at 184lbs and proceeded to put on a takedown and tilt clinic, building an 18-4 lead after the 1st period. His opponent, American’s Mervin Mancia, was outmatched from the beginning (as many are when they go up against Poznanski) and surrendered an escape to start the second, which gave Poznanski the technical fall win, 19-4.
Greg Bulsak, the No. 13 ranked 197lber in the nation next took on Carsten Rawls of American and put up another stellar performance, utilizing a several takedowns and a tough ride to win by technical fall, 16-0 early in the 3rd period.
The final bout of the evening saw Rutgers’ Boone McDermott, the No. 24 ranked heavyweight up against Isaac Righter in what was the weirdest match I’ve personally seen this year. Righter, who would eventually give up penalty points on four different occasions throughout the match, gave up one initially that gave Boone a 1-0 lead to start.
McDermott then tossed Righter to his back securing a takedown and two back-points to lead 5-1 after the 1st. Righter chose top to start the 2nd and gave up penalty points twice in the period, allowing McDermott to extend his lead to 9-1, despite putting on a solid looking ride.
McDermott picked bottom for the 3rd, with the plan being to escape and secure the major decision, due to Righter’s riding time point that seemed inevitable. Instead, Righter rode McDermott for the entire period, but was penalized for locking hands as time expired, which gave McDermott the major decision anyway, 10-2.
The stream was extremely high quality, and the pertinent match information was always available on the screen, which was great. The American announcers were very knowledgeable and were heaping praise on the Rutgers program throughout the dual, which must make Coach Goodale and team feel great. We also got to see some local D.C. commercials, and I suddenly am eager for some golf and Italian food.
The squad will next be in action Friday, December 10th against Army at the Jersey Mike’s Arena in Piscataway.
Rutgers – 39 American – 1*
125: No. 23 Dylan Shawver (RU) OVER Andy Fallon (AU) by dec, 5-4
133: Jack Maida (AU) OVER Devon Britton (RU) by dec, 6-2
141: No. 4 Sebastian Rivera (RU) OVER Ethan Szerencsits by tech fall, 20-3.
149: No. 25 Mike VanBrill (RU) OVER Patrick Ryan (AU) by fall, 4:35
157: Rob Kanniard (RU) OVER Tony Segura (AU) by tech fall, 17-2
165: Andrew Clark (RU) OVER Tim Fitzpatrick (AU) by dec, 4-3
174: Connor O’Neill (RU) OVER Colin Shannon (AU) by dec, 10-7
184: No. 5 John Poznanski (RU) OVER Mervin Mancia (AU) by tech fall, 20-4
197: No. 13 Greg Bulsak (RU) OVER Carsten Rawls (AU) by tech fall, 16-0
285: No. 24 Boone McDermott (RU) OVER Isaac Righter (AU) by maj. dec, 10-2
*American penalized two team points after the 285lbs match.