Penn State Wrestling

New faces, same result for Penn State wrestling in shutout of Army West Point

Penn State’s Jered Cortez made his debut on Friday night at 133 pounds in the Nittany Lions’ 45-0 victory over Army West Point. Cortez earned a 14-1 major decision over Austin Harry.
Penn State’s Jered Cortez made his debut on Friday night at 133 pounds in the Nittany Lions’ 45-0 victory over Army West Point. Cortez earned a 14-1 major decision over Austin Harry. Photo provided

Penn State opened its season last year with a dominant shutout.

The same happened on Friday night as the No. 2 Nittany Lions opened their year with a 45-0 win over Army West Point inside Christl Arena.

What else made it similar was the fact that underclassmen stole the show.

Nick Suriano, Jered Cortez and Vincenzo Joseph made their debuts in the Penn State lineup. Each came away with bonus point victories.

Suriano opened the night at 125 and tallied six takedowns en route to a 15-4 major decision win. He also racked up 3:22 in riding time. Cortez followed up next with a 14-1 major decision. He led 8-0 after one period thanks to a takedown and six near-fall points.

Joseph came out of the break to keep the Nittany Lions rolling. Four takedowns and four near-fall points gave Joseph a 12-0 lead after the first period. He tacked on four more takedowns and an escape point for a 21-6 technical fall and a 28-0 Penn State lead.

The Nittany Lions finished with eight bonus-point victories.

Jimmy Gulibon looked like he was back to all-american form with a 17-6 major decision at 141 pounds. He tallied five takedowns and used four near-fall points in the win.

Zain Retherford and Jason Nolf looked like they were in midseason form. Retherford picked up a 21-3 technical fall in 6:31. He earned a stall point within the first minute of wrestling. Nolf earned a takedown six seconds into his 157-pound match. He gave up a takedown but that quickly fueled him to finish the match off with a 2:19 fall with a cradle. Nolf’s win gave Penn State a 23-0 lead at the break.

Bo Nickal and Nick Nevills earned the other bonus point victories. Nickal basically came out shook his opponent’s hand and pinned him in 25 seconds at 184 pounds. Nevills built a 10-0 first period lead thanks to a takedown and eight near-fall points. He went on to win 17-2 in 4:31.

Geno Morelli and Matt McCutcheon were in the lineup again but at different weight classes. Morelli got the starting nod at 174 pounds after beating out Shakur Rasheed. Morelli trailed 4-2 to open the third period. He got a penalty point, an escape and had just enough riding time to secure a 6-4 win.

McCutcheon, who was the Ernie Lucas Award winner, moved up to 197 pounds after losing to Nickal in a wrestle off at 184 pounds. McCutcheon held his own as he went up against a lengthy Rocco Caywood, who was ranked No. 11 in the country. The pair went into the third period tied 2-2 after McCutcheon tallied the only takedown of the match in the first period.

McCutcheon used an escape and held off a late Caywood takedown attempt for a 4-2 win.

Penn State hosts No. 14 Stanford on Sunday at 2 p.m. inside Rec Hall.

Nate Cobler: 814-231-4609, @ncoblercdt

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