Scott Stossel, who went to North Allegheny Senior High School in Pittsburgh, wasn’t a big-name recruit. He didn’t even qualify for the PIAA championships.
But he made a splash Sunday afternoon during the Nittany Lions’ 39-9 road win over Illinois.
Stossel, a senior, filled in for Roman Bravo-Young again at 133 pounds and earned his first dual victory. And, in another bit of big news, Brady Berge also made his return to the Nittany Lions’ lineup and cruised to a bonus-point victory at 149 pounds.
It was the 58th consecutive dual victory for Penn State and the 36th straight in Big Ten action. The win also gave the Nittany Lions a share of their fourth straight Big Ten regular season dual title. They shared that Big Ten crown with Iowa, who also went undefeated in conference duals. (The two teams did not wrestle each other this season.)
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Sunday proved to be Penn State’s final conference dual of the season — it faces Buffalo in the finale next week — so it was Stossel’s last chance at a Big Ten dual win. He entered the dual with a 4-6 record after dropping a bout against Michigan State on Friday. He went out Sunday and let it fly, in what was probably the last time he’ll wear a Penn State singlet.
Stossel trailed Joshua Contreras 3-0 early in the second period. With 55 seconds remaining in the second period, Stossel countered a Contreras shot for a takedown of his own. He rode Contreras for the remainder of the period.
In the third period, Stossel added an escape, takedown and riding-time point for a 6-4 win. It pulled the Nittany Lions’ team score to within 6-3 after Devin Schnupp was pinned to start the dual.
Fans didn’t get to see Nick Lee versus Illinois’ Mike Carr — the No. 5 wrestler in his weight class — as Carr couldn’t go. Instead, fans got to see Lee rattle off a 17-2 technical fall in 3:48 over replacement Abdullah Assaf.
But, luckily for Penn State faithful, they did get a chance to see Berge hit the mat for the first time after a five-dual absence. And he looked good for not competing since Jan. 20. He rattled off four takedowns and looked like Zain Retherford wrapping Christian Kanzler up in a bow and arrow. Berge earned a 15-4 major decision, and the rout was on for Penn State.
Jason Nolf led No. 10 Eric Barone 12-1 to start the third period. The pair only wrestled 25 seconds into the third period when Barone injury defaulted to Nolf. The injury occurred late in the second period.
Vincenzo Joseph methodically worked his way to a 15-4 major decision at 165 pounds. Joseph seemed to pull every tool out of his box for his five takedowns.
Mark Hall earned one of the two pins that the Nittany Lions had in the dual. His fall came with 40 seconds left in the first period. Penn State led 28-6 with three bouts to go.
Mason Manville filled in for Shakur Rasheed again at 184 pounds. Manville faced his fourth ranked opponent of the year, three of whom came two weight classes above Manville’s normal class of 165 pounds. Manville battled to the end but ultimately fell 7-3 to No. 7 Emery Parker.
Bo Nickal collected a 19-3 technical fall in 6:49 over Matt Wroblewski for his 59th straight dual win. Anthony Cassar finished things off by turning one of his trademark blast double-leg takedowns into a pin of Deuce Rachal.
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No. 1 Penn State 39, No. 19 Illinois 9
Sunday at Champaign, Ill.
125: No. 12 Travis Piotrowski, I, pinned Devin Schnupp, 1:03
133: Scott Stossel, PSU, dec. Joshua Contreras, 6-4
141: No. 2 Nick Lee, PSU, tech. fall Abdullah Assaf, 17-2 (3:48)
149: No. 11 Brady Berge, PSU, major dec. Christian Kanzler, 15-4
157: No. 1 Jason Nolf, PSU, injury def. No. 10 Eric Barone, 5:25
165: No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph, PSU, major dec. Nick Gasbarro, 15-4
174: No. 1 Mark Hall, PSU, pinned Carver James, 2:20
184: No. 7 Emery Parker, I, dec. Mason Manville, 7-3
197: No. 1 Bo Nickal, PSU, tech. fall Matt Wroblewski, 19-3 (6:49)
285: No. 3 Anthony Cassar, PSU, pinned Deuce Rachal, 2:06
Takedowns: Penn State 26, Illinois 5
Records: Penn State (13-0, 9-0 Big Ten), Illinois (2-9, 1-8 Big Ten)
Next match: Buffalo at Penn State, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.