TIFFIN – It was billed as a dog fight – and the wrestling teams of Heidelberg University and Ohio Northern University did not disappoint on a snowy Tuesday evening. The Polar Bears escaped Tiffin with a 21-12 victory as both squads opened up OAC action.
Ohio Northern took an early 3-0 lead at 125 as Brad Taton defeated Tyler Price, 3-2. The decisive point, a stalling penalty, occurred in the second period.
Trailing 5-4 heading into the third period at 133, Joe Brodman used an escape and a takedown to defeat Cole Cochran. With a point for riding time tacked on, Brodman's 8-5 win knotted the match at 3-3.
Heidelberg took the lead with a Justin Kihn win at 141. With Kihn and Dylan Dolph tied at 1, the pair were tied up late into the third period. Kihn took the upperhand and scored a takedown with less than a minute remaining. Dolph would escape with less than 10 seconds in the match, but was unable take Kihn to the mat before time expired.
ONU's Evan Morgan and HU's Damon Cheek went to overtime at 149. Late in the first overtime period, Morgan flipped Cheek for a takedown and earn three points for a near-fall. Morgan's 6-1 win tied the dual at six.
The Polar Bears regained the lead with a win at 157. Gennar Feucht scored a first period takedown and accumulated over four minutes of riding time. Heidelberg's Tyler Fahrer was able to force Feucht into two stalling points in the third, but allowed the ONU grappler to escape in hopes of scoring a takedown to counteract the riding time. Fahrer was unsuccessful and fell 4-2.
At 165, Colt Lovejoy defeated Aaron Banko, 9-3. Lovejoy tallied three takedowns and a reversal in the win, which put ONU up 12-6.
Ohio Northern continued its success through the middle weight classes with a 5-3 win at 174. Tyler Gargano used a takedown and a near fall to take a 4-0 over Heidelberg's Brennan Kelly in the second period. Kelly scored a pair of escapes and added on a stalling point, but could not manage to take down Gargano.
Heidelberg stopped the Polar Bear run with a critical victory at 184. Patrick Brown earned a 7-3 victory thanks to an aggressive first period takedown and near fall. Brown withstood a furious attack by ONU's Max Dole to pick up three points for Heidelberg, who trailed 15-9 with two matches remaining.
Another freshman came up big down the stretch for Heidelberg as Rickey Bruce won an offensive match, 11-6. The win brought Heidelberg back to within three, 15-12.
The 285 match featured a pair of top 5 wrestlers – ONU's Cody Lovejoy (#1) and the Berg's Nino Majoy (#3). Lovejoy showed why he is the top 285-pounder in the nation, sealing the match with a first period pin.
Heidelberg will take the weekend off in preparation for the second OAC match. The Student Princes will host John Carroll at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.