Wrestling Sweeps Home Opener in Dominating Fashion

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PHILADELPHIA – The home debut for the 2014-15 Penn Quakers – and for first-year head coach Alex Tirapelle – was one to remember as the Red and Blue stormed past a pair of opponents live on ESPN3 and the Ivy League Digital Network.

After opening the day with a 22-9 win over Lock Haven, the Quakers trounced EIWA rival Army, 30-6.

No. 16 C.J. Cobb led the way for the Quakers with a pair of bonus-point wins. He scored 16 combined takedowns in his two bouts, defeating Lock Haven’s Joe Ghinoe, 16-5, before picking up a technical fall over Army’s Andrew Mendel, 22-7.

The Quakers had four other wrestlers sweep their two matches during the day, No. 5 Lorenzo Thomas, Canaan Bethea, Patrik Garren, and Caleb Richardson joining Cobb as multiple-time winners in the home opening duals.

The win over Army served as a measure of revenge for a 21-13 loss to the Black Knights in The Palestra last season. Penn won eight of the 10 bouts, starting the dual off with a big win for Ray Bethea at 165 pounds over No. 20 Cole Gracey, 9-7. Bethea scored the first four takedowns of the match, including two in the first period to build a 4-1 lead, and his 1:32 of riding time was insurance in the third period as Gracey tried to close the gap. The match was Bethea’s first since November 16 and his first ever at 165 pounds.

A pair of NCAA qualifiers met at 174 pounds, Army’s No. 19 Brian Harvey defeating Penn’s Brad Wukie, 8-3. Harvey won three scrambles in the match, securing the win with a takedown late in the third to blow open a 5-3 bout.

After a dominating 14-5 win from No. 5 Lorenzo Thomas at 184, Canaan Bethea extended Penn’s lead to 10-3 with a 2-0 win over Bryce Barnes at 197. Bethea rode Barnes out for the entire second period, building two minutes of riding time which added on to Bethea’s third period escape for the deciding points.

True freshman Patrik Garren followed with a 7-4 decision at heavyweight, scoring two of his three takedowns in the match in the first period.

In a moment which excited The Palestra faithful, Jeremy Schwartz rallied from a deficit at 125 pounds to secure a 7-5 win over Sean Badua. Schwartz trailed, 2-1, after the first period, but reversed Badua with a Peterson roll in the second period, adding on three back points to pull away.

The win from Schwartz made the team score 16-3 in favor of the Quakers, and a technical fall from Caleb Richardson iced the team result for the Red and Blue. Richardson scored seven takedowns in the bout, adding a reversal and two sets of nearfall for the dominating win. Jeff Canfora was tied with Logan Everett, 3-3, after two periods, but a pair of takedowns from Everett in the third frame were enough for a 9-4 loss for Canfora.

After Cobb’s takedown clinic against Mendel at 149, Brooks Martino finished the dual with a 14-0 major decision over Javier Rodriguez. Martino was in control on top, scoring three sets of backpoints for a total of seven nearfall points in the win.

The Quakers were bolstered in their win over Army with momentum from a 22-9 win over Lock Haven to start the day. Bonus points were hard to come by, but four straight decisions for the Red and Blue between 174 and 285 helped the Quakers build a lead the Bald Eagles could not recover from.

Brad Wukie evened the score for the Red and Blue at 3-3 with a 9-4 win at 174 over Tyler Wood. Wukie trailed, 3-0, midway through the second period after Wood scored a takedown in the first period and escaped in the second, but a takedown and three backpoints for Wukie in the second flipped the script of the bout. In the third period, Wukie added two more takedowns to pull away.

No. 5 Lorenzo Thomas broke a scoreless tie in the second period against Fred Garcia with an escape and takedown, and that was enough as Garcia’s only score of the match was a takedown at the buzzer in a 3-2 win for Thomas.

In his first dual meet action on The Palestra mats, freshman Patrik Garren defeated Brad Emerick, 3-2. A takedown in the first period was enough for the rookie. Lock haven would get a win back at 125, Jake Field using a penalty point for stalling on Jeremy Schwartz for a 2-1 decision.

Caleb Richardson edged Cody Wheeler at 133, 4-2, in a match which changed course at the beginning of the third period when Wheeler was called for his third caution to break a 2-2 tie in Richardson’s favor.

Jeff Canfora scored four takedowns en route to an 11-5 decision over Bobby Rehm at 141 pounds, rallying from an early 2-0 deficit. No. 16 C.J. Cobb followed with a 16-5 major decision, racking up seven takedowns along the way. At 157, May Bethea was defeated by Elias Biddle, 4-0, in a match which swung early in the second period when a locked hands call against Biddle was overturned following a challenge by Lock Haven’s coaching staff. Biddle would ride out in the second period, and add a late takedown for the deciding score.

Match Notes: Penn won the takedown battle with Lock Haven, 18-7 … Penn won the takedown battle with Army, 30-10 … Patrick Garren, Brooks Martino, and Jeremy Schwartz each picked up their first career home dual meet wins … The win over Army was head coach Alex Tirapelle’s first win against an EIWA opponent.

The Quakers are back in action January 24, heading to Ithaca to take on No. 7 Cornell at 1 p.m.

Penn 22, Lock Haven 9
165: Dillon Gavlock (LHU) DEC Quinton Hiles (Penn), 9-3 Lock Haven leads, 3-0
174: Brad Wukie (Penn) DEC Tyler Wood (LHU), 9-4 Match tied, 3-3
184: #5 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn) DEC Fred Garcia (LHU), 3-2 Penn leads, 6-3
197: Canaan Bethea (Penn) DEC Phil Sprenkle (LHU), 4-3 Penn leads, 9-3
285: Patrik Garren (Penn) DEC Brad Emerick (LHU), 3-2 Penn leads, 12-3
125: Jake Field (LHU) DEC Jeremy Schwartz (Penn), 2-1 Penn leads, 12-6
133: Caleb Richardson (Penn) DEC Cody Wheeler (LHU), 4-3 Penn leads, 15-6
141: Jeff Canfora (Penn) DEC Bobby Rhem (LHU), 11-5 Penn leads, 18-6
149: #16 C.J. Cobb (Penn) MD Joe Ghione (LHU), 16-5 Penn leads, 22-6
157: Elias Biddle (LHU) DEC May Bethea (Penn), 4-0 Penn leads, 22-9

Penn 30, Army 6
165: Ray Bethea (Penn) DEC #20 Cole Gracey (Army), 9-7 Penn leads, 3-0
174: #19 Brian Harvey (Army) DEC Brad Wukie (Penn), 8-3 Match tied, 3-3
184: #5 Lorenzo Thomas (Penn) MD Samson Imonode (Army), 14-5 Penn leads, 7-3
197: Canaan Bethea (Penn) DEC Bryce Barnes (Army), 2-0 Penn leads, 10-3
285: Patrik Garren (Penn) DEC Tyler McLees (Army) 7-4 Penn leads, 13-3
125: Jeremy Schwartz (Penn) DEC Sean Badua (Army), 7-5 Penn leads, 16-3
133: Caleb Richardson (Penn) TF5 Christian Doyle (Army), 21-6 (6:45) Penn leads, 21-3
141: Logan Everett (Army) DEC Jeff Canfora (Penn), 9-4 Penn leads, 21-6
149: #16 C.J. Cobb (Penn) TF Andrew Mendel (Army), 22-7 (6:13) Penn leads, 26-6
157: Brooks Martino (Penn) MD Javier Rodriguez (Army), 14-0 Penn leads, 30-6