UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – No. 1 Penn State Wrestling (3-0, 0-0 B1G) rolled to its first-ever shutout win over No. 10 Lehigh (0-3) in front of yet another Rec Hall sellout crowd on Sunday. The Nittany Lions won all ten bouts in a 42-0 victory over a short-handed Mountain Hawk squad to remain unbeaten on the year.
Penn State got impressive ranked wins from Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.) and Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.). The Nittany Lions did not give up a takedown in the dual.
The dual began at 197 where senior Nickal, ranked No. 1 nationally, dominated No. 15 Jake Jakobsen. Nickal controlled the action from start to finish and rolled to a 19-4 technical fall at the 5:31 mark. Senior Cassar, ranked No. 5 at 285, followed that up with a big win the dual’s marquee match-up. Cassar dominated No. 6 Jordan wood on his way to an impressive 12-3 major with 2:21 in riding time, putting Penn State up 9-0 early.
Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) picked up his second straight dual win at 125, and his first in Rec Hall, with a 6-1 win over Luke Resnick and Penn State led 12-0. True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.) then dominated Brandon Paetzell at 133, rolling to a 13-5 major with over 3:00 in riding time. Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 4 at 141, closed out the first half with an impressive 23-10 major over Lehigh’s Ryan Pomrinca and Penn State led 20-0 at the halftime break.
Redshirt freshman Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) got the nod at 149 and started the second half and kept Penn State’s shutout hopes alive with a hard-fought 5-3 win over Lehigh’s Jimmy Hoffman. Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, kept the Lions rolling by pinning Josh Humphrey’s at the 6:19 mark. The fall was the sixth in seven matches for Nolf. Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, made it two straight pins by getting a fall at the 4:47 mark over Mountain Hawk Trey Cornish to put Penn State up 35-0. The fall was Joseph’s sixth in seven bouts this year.
Hall, ranked No. 2 at 174, walked away with a convincing win in another of the dual’s most anticipated match-ups. Hall posted the bout’s only takedowns in a 6-2 win over No. 7 Jordan Kutler. Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 4 at 184, closed out the dual in dominating fashion, posting an 11-2 major with 3:53 in riding time over Lehigh’s Andrew Price. Rasheed’s win gave the Nittany Lions the 42-0 shutout victory.
The Nittany Lions rolled to a 47-0 takedown advantage and tallied 12 bonus points off two pins (Nolf and Joseph), one tech (Nickal), and four majors (Cassar, Bravo-Young, Lee and Rasheed). Penn State has now won 48 straight dual meets dating back to the end of the 2014-15 season. The sellout crowd of 6,529 was the 43rd straight sellout in Rec Hall and Penn State’s 47th in its last 49 home duals, including four of six in the near-16,000 seat Bryce Jordan Center.
Penn State is now 3-0 overall while Lehigh falls to 0-3.
The Nittany Lions host No. 12 Arizona State in its next action. The Lions welcome the Sun Devils to Rec Hall for the first time ever on Friday, Dec. 14, for a 6 p.m. dual that will air live nationally on ESPN2. Arizona State last visited Happy Valley during the 2001 National Duals in an event hosted in the Bryce Jordan Center.
197: Senior Bo Nickal (Allen, Texas), ranked No. 1 at 197, faced off against No. 15 Jake Jakobsen. Nickal worked the center of the mat, looking to force Jakobsen’s shoulders down to the mat. The Lion pushed his foe’s head down, swung around quickly on the edge of the mat and took a 2-1 lead at the 2:20 mark. He quickly added a second takedown and led 4-1 before a minute had passed. Nickal cut Jakobsen loose to a 4-2 score and added a third takedown a minute later to lead 6-2. Nickal spent the rest of the period controlling the action from the top position and turned Jakobsen for four near fall points to lead 10-2 after one. Jakobsen chose top to start the second period but Nickal quickly escaped to an 11-2 lead. A quick low shot in front of the Lehigh bench led to a takedown and a 13-2 lead for the Lion All-American. Nickal cut Jakobsen loose at the 1:00 mark and immediately set up another scoring opportunity. He used a strong high double to score with 0:13 on the clock and led 15-3 with 1:43 in time after two. Nickal skipped around a slight Jakobsen shot for a takedown, cut him loose and then quickly ended the bout with another takedown, posting the 19-4 tech fall at the 5:31 mark.
285: Senior Anthony Cassar (Rocky Hill, N.J.), ranked No. 5 at 285, met No. 6 Jordan Wood in the dual’s marquee match-up. The duo battled evenly for nearly two minutes before Cassar used a strong high double to lift Wood off the mat and send him down for a takedown and a 2-1 lead. Cassar was lightening quick in the final seconds, notching a second takedown with :05 on the clock to lead 4-1 after one. The Lion chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped for a 5-1 lead. Continuing to dominate, Cassar shot low and notched his third takedown at the 1:10 mark, upping his lead to 7-1. A strong ride gave the Lion over 1:00 in riding time. The Lion was able to force Wood flat and rode the Mountain Hawk out. Trailing 7-1, Wood chose neutral to start the third period. Cassar’s pace was relentless. The Lion junior continued to pace around the middle of the mat, looking for another opening to score. With the riding time point clinched, Cassar moved to the side of a low Wood shot and got a takedown to up his lead to 9-1 with :45 on the clock. Cassar would add one more takedown and a riding time point to roll to the impressive 12-3 major decision.
125: Sophomore Devin Schnupp (Lititz, Pa.) took on Lehigh’s Luke Resnick at 125. Schnupp was the aggressor early, keeping action in the center circle while trying to gain control of Resnick’s shoulders. The Lion sophomore worked Resnick to the mat twice but the Mountain Hawk was able to defend each effort, forcing stalemates. With :30 left, Schnupp shot low, forcing a scramble in the middle of the mat. The sophomore was not able to come up under for the takedown before the period ended and the match moved to the second period scoreless. Schnupp chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to a 1-0 lead. Schnupp instigated another scramble in the middle of the mat with :45 on the clock, but Resnick was once again able to force a stalemate. On the reset, however, Schnupp shot low, connected on the shot and scored with :15 left to lead 3-0 after two periods. Resnick chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 3-1 score. Not content with a slim lead, Schnupp used shoulder control to force Resnick’s shoulders to the mat and worked his way behind the Mountain Hawk to take a 5-1 lead with :50 left in the bout. The Lion sophomore put together a strong ride and finished off the bout in control. With a 1:11 riding time edge, Schnupp rolled to the 6-1 decision.
133: True freshman Roman Bravo-Young (Tucson, Ariz.) met Brandon Paetzell at 133. Bravo-Young scored quickly, taking a 2- 0 lead and building up over 1:00 in riding time before cutting Paetzell loose after a reset with 1:25 ono the clock. The Arizona native continued his fast pace and used a quick shot to notch his second takedown to lead 4-1 with :55 left in the opening period. A ride-out gave the Lion freshman a 4-1 lead with 2:22 in riding time after one period. Paetzell chose down to start the second stanza and escaped to a 4-2 score. Paetzell connected on a low single with :55 on the clock and Bravo-Young thrilled the sold out Rec Hall crowd, jumping out of control, sliding behind Paetzell and notching the counter takedown as the period ended to lead 6-3 with 2:39 in time after two periods. Leading by three, Bravo-Young chose neutral to start the third period. Bravo-Young turned a fast low shot into a scramble and finished off the takedown with :55 on the clock to lead 8-3 with a clinched riding time point. Looking for bonus points, Bravo-Young cut Paetzell loose to an 8-4 score. The Lion quickly took Paetzell down and cut him to a 10-5 lead with :22 on the clock and finished off the major with a takedown at the :09 mark. A 3:07 riding time edge gave Bravo-Young the 13-5 major decision.
141: Sophomore Nick Lee (Evansville, Ind.), ranked No. 4 at 141, met Ryan Pomrinca. Lee was hot out of the gates, picking up two takedowns in the first sixth seconds to lead 4-2 early. The Lion sophomore used a nifty low single upped his lead to 6-2 with a third takedown at the opening period’s midway point. He cut Pomrinca loose to a 6-3 score and then added a fourth takedown and cut. Looking to finish the period on top, Lee shot low, worked control of one foot into a fifth takedown and finished on top to lead 10-4 with 1:19 in time after one. Lee chose down to start the second period and quickly escaped to an 11-4 lead. He notched his sixth takedown shortly after that and led 13-4 with 1:32 left in the second stanza. The Lion continued to pour on the offense, adding two more quick takedowns to lead 17-7 with 1:51 in riding time after two periods. Pomrinca chose down to start the third period and escaped to a 17-8 score. Lee picked up a stall point and then another takedown to lead 20-9 with :40 left. Lee took a 22-9 lead with :22 left and rolled to a 23-10 major decision with 2:44 in riding time.
149: Redshirt freshman Jarod Verkleeren (Greensburg, Pa.) got the nod at 149 for Penn State and took on Jimmy Hoffman. The duo battled evenly for over a minute with neither wrestler breaking through. The Lion stepped back from a solid Hoffman shot with :50 on the clock and tried to counter but Hoffman was able to keep the pressure on and force action out of bounds with :35 left in the opening period. Tied 0-0, Verkleeren chose down to start the second period and took advantage. With action moving toward the outside circle, Verkleeren worked his way out of control and finished off a reversal with 1:31 on the clock to take a 2-0 lead. Verkleeren maintained control for :40 before Hoffman escaped to a 2-1 score. Trailing 2-1, Hoffman chose down to start the second period. Verkleeren maintained control long enough to build his riding time edge up over 1:00 before a reset was called with 1:39 on the clock. Verkleeren continued to maintain control until Hoffman escaped to a 2-2 tie with 1:22 left to wrestle. Verkleeren had 1:16 in time. Hoffman shot low but Verkleeren countered the move for another takedown and a 4-3 lead after a quick Hoffman escape. Verkleeren fought off Hoffman’s late scoring efforts and, with 1:34 in riding time, posted a 5-3 win.
157: Senior Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 157, faced off against Lehigh’s Josh Humphreys. Nolf wasted no time taking the lead. The Lion posted two takedowns in the opening 1:30 to lead 4-2. He then forced a scramble with a low shot, picked up a third takedown and led 6-2 at the 1:10 mark. Humphreys was able to finish with his feet and Nolf led 6-3 with 0:34 left. The Lion scrambled to a late takedown but the call was overturned on review and Nolf led 6-3 after one period. Nolf chose down to start the second period, steadily worked his way to his feet and, after forcing a stall warning, escaped to a 7-3 lead. He fought off a solid Humphreys shot and then another as the period ended to lead 8-3 after two periods. Humphreys chose down to start the third period and picked up a stall point before Humphreys escaped to a 9-4 Nolf lead. Nolf added another takedown and led 11-5 before locking up a cradle to get the fall at the 6:19 mark.
165: Junior Vincenzo Joseph (Pittsburgh, Pa.), ranked No. 1 at 165, battled Trey Cornish. Joseph took an early 2-0 lead, taking Cornish down with 2:15 on the clock. He then controlled action from the top position, building up :37 in time before cutting the Hawk loose. He quickly took Cornish down again and led 4-2, turned in off the escape and added a third takedown right away and led 6-3 with 1:05 on the clock. Joseph picked up a stall point and then notched a fourth takedown. He turned Cornish for four back points before the period ended and led 13-3 with 1:39 in riding time after one period. Joseph chose neutral to start the second period and Joseph continued his offensive onslaught. The Lion used a fast low trip to take a 15-3 score just :20 into the middle stanza. He tacked on one more takedown and then finished off the match by turning Cornish to his back and getting the fall at the 4:47 mark.
174: Junior Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.), ranked No. 2 at 174, met No. 7 Jordan Kutler. The ranked duo battled evenly for the first minute with Hall shooting consistently and Kutler’s defense equal to the task. The Lion junior could not break through to score and the first period ended in a 0-0 tie. Hall chose down to start the second period and deftly escaped to a 1-0 lead at the 1:35 mark. Hall then connected on a fast high single and bulled his way to a takedown and a 3-0 lead with 1:08 on the clock. Hall then controlled the action from the top position for the remainder of the period to carry the 3-0 edge, and :47 in riding time, into the third period. Kutler chose down to start the third period and Hall continued to dominate the action from the top position. Hall’s riding time ballooned to 1:31 before Kutler escaped to a 3-1 score. Hall shot high to Kutler’s right leg again, forcing a scramble that led to another takedown and a 5-2 lead after a quick Kutler escape. But the damage was done and Hall, with 1:38 in riding time, rolled to the 6-2 win.
184: Senior Shakur Rasheed (Coram, N.Y.), ranked No. 4 at 184, took on Andrew Price. Rasheed spent a minute looking for a chance to score and took a 2-0 lead with a takedown at the 2:10 mark. Rasheed cut Price loose and then quickly took him down again to lead 4-1. The Lion senior then built up a solid riding time edge while looking for a chance to turn the Hawk for back points or more. Price was able to fight off Rasheed’s turning efforts but the Lion finished on top to lead 4-1 with 2:14 in riding time after one. Rasheed chose down to start the third period and quickly escaped to a 5-1 lead. He picked up his third takedown at the 1:17 mark and led 7-1. After a reset sent action back to the center circle, Rasheed continued his dominant ride and led 7-1 with 3:29 in time after two periods. Price chose neutral to start the final period but Rasheed was undaunted. The Lion senior continued to press Price, forcing the Mountain Hawk into giving up a stall point and then taking him down to open up a 10-1 lead with :44 left to wrestle. Rasheed went on to post the dominant 11-2 major with 3:53 in riding time.
— Release courtesy Strategic Communications Penn State Athletics Office