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    'Cats Fall to No. 12 Penn State, 25-8

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Brandon Precin topped No. 7 Mark McKnight at 125 lbs.
    Brandon Precin topped No. 7 Mark McKnight at 125 lbs.

    Feb. 2, 2007

    UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Freshman Brandon Precin (Orland Park, Ill./Carl Sandburg) upset Penn State's seventh-ranked Mark McKnight to start the dual, but the Nittany Lions controlled the middle weights to defeat the eighth-ranked Wildcats Friday night, 25-8. Top-ranked Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) put on a show in his home state, winning by major decision at 184 lbs.

    The win drops Northwestern to 11-6 in duals, 1-3 in the Big Ten. Penn State improves to 11-5, 2-3 in conference

    Precin started off for the 'Cats at 125 against PSU's seventh-ranked Mark McKnight. The Nittany Lion scored a two-point takedown to get on the board, but Precin escaped to make the score 2-1 after one period.

    McKnight started down in the second and escaped to pull ahead 3-1 after two. The freshman escaped early to close to 3-2 and then went on the offensive to score a takedown and two-point near-fall. With the riding time, Precin took the 7-3 decision to give NU an early 3-0 lead.

    Penn State would take the next six matches to pull ahead, 19-3.

    Eric Metzler (Luxemburg, Wis./Luxemburg-Casco) came next at 133 against Penn State's 11th-ranked Jake Strayer. The Lion struck first with a takedown in the opening frame to take an early 2-0 lead. Strayer maintained a two-point advantage with two escapes in the second to lead 4-2 going to the third. Strayer notched a takedown in the third to cruise to a 7-2 win to even the team score at 3-3.

    James Kohlberg (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Rolling Meadows) wrestled in place of the injured Ryan Lang (North Royalton, Ohio/St. Edward) for the third-straight weekend of Big Ten play and he went up against Bryan Heller of Penn State at 141. Kohlberg surrendered a takedown in the first to trail 2-0 heading into the second. Heller scored a 12-5 decision to give PSU a 6-3 lead heading into the 149-pound match.



    Vincent Colletti (Naperville, Ill./Montini Catholic) took to the mat at 149 lbs. against 15th-ranked Dan Vallimont and trailed 6-2 after one period. Colletti scored two escapes in the second, but the Nittany Lion extended his lead to 10-4 after two periods. Vallimont took an 18-5 decision to push the Penn State lead to 10-3.

    Dominic Marella (Roselle, Ill./Conant) dropped a 12-6 decision to Penn State's Bubba Jenkins at 157. Jenkins went up 4-1 after one period behind two takedowns. Action picked up in the second with Marella scoring two escapes and a takedown, but he trailed 9-5 after two. The Lion went on to win by a 12-6 score and Penn State carried a 13-3 lead into the 165-pound match.

    Junior Greg Hagel (Linwood, N.J./Blair Academy) grappled against Dave Rella at 165 and the two went into the second period tied at 3-3. Hagel scored on a reversal and a penalty point, but Rella notched a takedown and escape for his three points. Rella went on to take a 12-7 decision to extend PSU's lead to 16-3.

    With the 'Cats facing a 13-point deficit heading into the upper weights, 15th-ranked Nick Hayes (Council Bluffs, Iowa/Lewis Central) took to the mat against seventh-ranked James Yonushonis at 174 lbs. The first period ended scoreless.

    Hayes escaped in the second to pull ahead 1-0 going into the third. Yonushonis managed an escape and a takedown in the final frame to take the 3-1 decision and push the PSU lead to 19-3.

    The Top-ranked Herbert started out fast against Brian Cantalupi at 184 lbs., scoring three takedowns in the first period to take a 6-2 lead.

    The junior notched a reversal, near-fall and escape in the second to extend his commanding lead to 12-3. Herbert came out like a man possessed in the third period, scoring four takedowns and accumulating two penalty points to cause a 22-7 technical fall. He closed the gap in the team score to 19-8 with two matches remaining. Herbert is a perfect 20-0 this season.

    In the most anticipated match of the night, Mike Tamillow (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick), ranked second at 197 lbs., took to the mat against third-ranked Phil Davis. Tamillow scored a takedown and Davis managed a reversal to make the score 2-2 heading into the second period.

    The wrestlers started neutral in the second, but Davis struck with a takedown to pull ahead 4-2 going into the third. Davis scored an escape and reversal in the third, and with the riding time advantage, the Nittany Lion took the upset decision, 8-2. PSU led comfortably at 22-8 heading into the heavyweight match.

    Fourth-ranked Dustin Fox (Galion, Ohio/Galion) fell 5-2 to 13th-ranked Aaron Anspatch at heavyweight to give Penn State the 25-8 victory.

    The 'Cats return to action at 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon when they take on Ohio State at St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio.

    Penn State 25, Northwestern 8
    125: Precin (NU) dec. McKnight (PSU), 7-3 (3-0)
    133: Strayer (PSU) dec. Metzler (NU), 7-2 (3-3)
    141: Heller (PSU) dec. Kohlberg (NU), 12-5 (3-6)
    149: Vallimont (PSU) maj dec. Colletti (NU), 18-5 (3-10)
    157: Jenkins (PSU) dec. Marella (NU), 12-6 (3-13)
    165: Rella (PSU) dec. Hagel (NU), 12-7 (3-16)
    174: Yonushonis (PSU) dec. Hayes (NU), 3-1 (3-19)
    184: Herbert (NU) tech fall Cantalupi (PSU), 22-7 (8-19)
    197: Davis (PSU) dec. Tamillow (NU), 8-2 (8-22)
    285: Anspatch (PSU) dec. Fox (NU), 5-2 (8-25)