Penn State Wrestling

No. 1 Penn State punishes No. 19 Purdue for first dual win in 2016

Fun and exciting.

Penn State coach Cael Sanderson has used those two words all season to describe his team.

The No. 1 Nittany Lions were a little bit of both on Friday night in their 42-3 punishing of No. 19 Purdue.

“Everybody on the team has a good attitude and that attitude is contagious,” Penn State’s Kade Moss said to the Penn State Sports Network. “We all want to go out and score a lot of points and have fun doing it.”

Needless to say, Penn State had a lot of fun at the expense of the Boilermakers. Shakur Rasheed sprinkled in a little bit of that excitement.

The redshirt freshman continued his dominance of ranked wrestlers. In the highlight match of the night and a match Purdue fans thought was a lock win, Rasheed tangled with the Boilermakers’ Chad Welch. Welch came into the match ranked No. 5 nationally with a 19-2 record. After the match, Welch was 19-3.

Rasheed collected an early takedown and slowly worked his way into a cradle of Welch. Rasheed settled in and rolled Welch over for the first period at 1:56. Rasheed earned his fourth win of the year over a ranked wrestler, and the Nittany Lions led 28-0 at that point.

Rasheed was a co-Ernie Lucas Award winner, given to the outstanding wrestler in an away meet.

The match started at 125 pounds with Nico Megaludis using eight takedowns and a little bit of help from his opponent, Ben Thornton. Thornton was called for stalling four times in the match, giving Megaludis three free points. Megaludis opened the dual meet with a 21-6 technical fall.

Jordan Conaway followed with an 8-3 win at 133 to give the Nittany Lions an early 8-0 lead.

Moss, who was a co-Ernie Lucas Award winner, filled in for an injured Jimmy Gulibon at 141. He made the most of his start with an 11-3 major decision against Danny Sabatello. The pair went to the third period tied 2-2 before Moss took control.

He caught Sabatello in a body lock and planted him on the mat. Moss collected four near-fall points in the win.

Moss felt once he hit that body lock the match was over.

“We locked up,” he said, “and I feel real comfortable with upper body. I felt him slow down a little bit there. He got a little frustrated and wasn’t working as much on bottom any more.”

Zain Retherford and Jason Nolf followed Moss with their usual dominant performances. Retherford collected an 18-1 technical fall in 6:09 at 149. Nolf followed up his own 21-5 technical fall a second slower than Retherford’s. Joining the technical fall party was also Bo Nickal. Nickal earned his 16-1 with 4:58 on the clock and pushed Penn State’s lead to 33-0.

Brian Brill filled in for Matt McCutcheon at 184 pounds. Brill, who was making his Nittany Lion dual debut, wrestled solid.

He came off the mat an 11-7 win and helped keep Penn State’s shutout alive. Morgan McIntosh made quick work of his opponent with a fall in 1:33.

Purdue avoided the shutout, thanks to Tyler Kral. Kral earned a 7-4 win over Jan Johnson, who was making his Big Ten debut.

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