Jordan Blanton put on a show, eventually pinning his opponent in 3:58 to help No. 20 Illinois blast SIUE, 48-0
Jan. 8, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Junior John Deneen started the No. 20 Fighting Illini off with a pin in 3:46 at 125 pounds against SIU Edwardsville on Friday, and Illinois rolled from there, blasting the Cougars 48-0 at Huff Hall. No. 2 John Dergo (184 pounds) and No. 15 Jordan Blanton (174) also added falls to the effort and No. 13 Ryan Prater notched a technical fall just 47 seconds into the second period as the Illini scored bonus points in eight of the 10 bouts and didn't allow a takedown all night.
"We've been going hard this week in practice, so I think more than anything, our guys were just glad to get out of the practice room," Illini head coach Jim Heffernan said. "But we wanted our guys to hustle and work hard, and I'm pleased with how they did, for the most part."
Illinois was aggressive from the outset, looking for near-fall points and team bonus points early and often in bouts. Deneen took a 4-1 lead after a period and started down in the second, notching a quick reversal and turning SIUE's Kris Treat for the pin in 3:46. SIUE's starter at 133 had pneumonia and their backup had a skin infection, forcing the Cougars to forfeit the weight class and increase Illinois' lead to 12-0.
Prater attacked early and often at 141, getting an early takedown before Eric Biehl escaped off a restart. But Prater got another takedown then two near-fall points. Prater then went to work, scoring five straight near-falls for a total of 11 back points that gave him a 15-1 lead after a period. Biehl chose neutral to start the second and took a shot, but Prater sprawled out and looked to scramble, a strength of his. He cradled Biehl and got him on his back, but the Cougar wriggled out and got to his stomach, only giving up the takedown as Prater finished the 17-1 technical fall in 3:47.
At 149, Eric Terrazas continued his perfect start to the season with a 7-4 decision. He got two quick takedowns for a 4-2 lead after a period. He started down in the second and escaped in 40 seconds, then got a takedown on the edge of the mat with 28 seconds left in the period to go ahead 7-2. SIUE's Kyle Lowman started down in the third and got a reversal 48 seconds into the period, but all he could do was ride out Terrazas as the Illini sophomore improved to 10-0 on the season.
Conrad Polz looked solid at 157, getting two quick takedowns in the first period and riding SIUE's Nick Jones hard for a 4-1 lead after three minutes. Jones started down in the second and Polz cut him loose in order to throw him for a takedown and a 6-3 lead. Polz went to work from there, escaping to start the third and scoring three takedowns before adding riding time for the 14-5 major decision to put the Illini ahead 25-0.
Junior Joe Barczak notched a quick takedown against Steve Ross at 165 and Ross escaped at the 2:08 mark. Barczak got another takedown 25 seconds later and rode hard for a two-point near-fall with 50 seconds left in the period to take a 6-1 lead. He started down in the second and got a quick reversal, then cut Ross loose and got another takedown late in the period for a 10-2 lead after five minutes. In the third, Barczak added two more takedowns and riding time, compared to Ross' lone escape, for the 15-4 major decision and a 29-0 team lead.
At 174, Blanton put on a clinic against Blake Reed. He worked over Reed to the tune of six takedowns and a three-point near-fall in the first period for a 15-5 lead after three minutes. Reed narrowly missed being pinned a couple of times, but started down in the second. Blanton cut him and got a quick takedown, then cut him loose again. Blanton tried to go straight to a cradle from the neutral position, but ended up taking Reed down before working him into a cradle and pinning him in 3:58.
Dergo was similarly dominant, getting an early takedown against Tim Mahoney at 184 and scoring three back points before cutting Mahoney loose. Dergo hit a double-leg near the edge of the mat and turned Mahoney for three more near-fall points before cutting him again for a 10-2 lead. Mahoney took a sloppy shot that Dergo countered for a takedown before the horn, taking a 12-2 lead after a period. He started down in the second and got out quickly before nailing another double-leg and turning Mahoney to secure the fall at 3:18, pushing Illinois' lead to 41-0.
At 197, No. 10 Patrick Bond scored a quick takedown and got a tilt on Robert Cooney, nearly pinning the Cougar early. But Cooney fended it off, giving up three back points, and Bond cut him loose. Bond slid by Cooney for another takedown for a 7-1 margin after a period. He started down in the second and got out quickly before hitting another double-leg. Bond rolled through for two more back points and a 12-1 lead at the end of the period. Cooney started down in the third and Bond cut him loose, then getting a leg and planting the Cougar on the mat for the takedown. He cut Cooney off a restart, looking for another takedown for the technical fall, but Cooney fended off Bond's shot with a whizzer to only give up the 17-4 major decision.
Martin Smith took the mat for the Illini at heavyweight, fending off an early shot from SIUE's David Devine before hitting a single-leg takedown of his own. After Devine got out, Smith defended another shot from the Cougar before re-shooting and securing a takedown for a 4-1 lead. Devine escaped but Smith got a third takedown before Devine escaped again to make it 6-3 after three minutes. Smith started down in the second and escaped quickly before locking in his underhooks and throwing Devine for a takedown. The Cougar escaped to make it 9-4 after two periods. Neither wrestler managed a takedown in the third period and Smith tacked on riding time for the 10-5 win, finishing off Illinois' 48-0 win.
The Illini step it up a notch next weekend when they travel to No. 2 Iowa State on Saturday, Jan. 16. It will be the first dual between the two teams since 1964.
125: John Deneen (ILL) pinned Kris Treat (SIUE), 3:46 (6-0)
133: Daryl Thomas (ILL) forfeit win (12-0)
141: #13 Ryan Prater (ILL) tech fall Eric Biehl (SIUE) 17-1 (3:47) (17-0)
149: Eric Terrazas (ILL) dec. Kyle Lowman (SIUE) 7-4 (21-0)
157: Conrad Polz (ILL) maj. dec. Nick Jones (SIUE) 14-5 (25-0)
165: Joe Barczak (ILL) maj. dec. Steve Ross (SIUE) 15-4 (29-0)
174: #15 Jordan Blanton (ILL) pinned Blake Reed (SIUE), 3:58 (35-0)
184: #2 John Dergo (ILL) pinned Tim Mahoney (SIUE), 3:18 (41-0)
197: #10 Patrick Bond (ILL) maj. Dec. Robert Cooney (SIUE), 17-4 (45-0)
HWT: Martin Smith (ILL) dec. David Devine (SIUE) 10-5 (48-0)