Top-ranked Mike Poeta improves to 15-0.
Jan. 21, 2007
Champaign, Ill. - The No. 16 Illinois wrestling team upset the No. 13 Indiana Hoosiers, 22-9, Sunday afternoon at Huff Hall. The Illini improve to 2-0 in the Big Ten and 6-0 overall. Junior Gabe Flores (16-0) and sophomore Mike Poeta (15-0) posted key victories and stayed perfect on the season. Illinois has now won 10-straight duals against Indiana and are 12-2 in head coach Mark Johnson's 15-year career.
The dual started at 184 and saw #15 John Dergo drop a heartbreaker against #12 Mark Bennett, 8-6. In the second period, with Bennett ahead, 5-1, Dergo (Morris, Ill.) narrowed the margin by scoring a takedown, but Bennett countered with a late takedown to extend his lead to 7-3. In the third, Dergo cut the lead to two on an escape and a takedown, but the clock ran out before any more points could be awarded.
At 197, Patrick Bond got the Illini on the board by outlasting Nathan Everhart, 6-1. Bond (Chesapeake, Va.) scored a takedown as time expired in the first to take the lead. He added an escape and a takedown in the second to put the match out of reach and collect the victory. Indiana, however, took a 6-3 lead in the dual after the HWT match when John Wise dropped a 7-3 decision against Josh Buuck.
Illinois then logged six-straight wins to build a healthy lead in the dual. At 125, billed as one of the highlight matches of the day, #10 Gabe Flores outlasted #9 Angel Escobedo, 4-2. Flores (Madera, Calif.) took the early lead on a takedown late in the first period. In the third, Flores extended his lead on an escape, but Escobedo cut into it with a takedown. Flores countered with an escape as time expired to seal the win and hand the Hoosier redshirt-freshman his first dual-meet loss. 133 saw #9 Jimmy Kennedy pick up a gut-check win against #19 Andrae Hernandez, 5-4. Kennedy (Ingleside, Ill.) took the lead in the second period with a takedown, but Hernandez tied the match with a takedown of his own early in the third. Escobedo took the lead on a reversal with a minute left, but the Illinois true-freshman tied the match with a takedown. After a penalty point was awarded to Kennedy, time ran out before Escobedo could score.
With Illinois leading the dual, 9-6, Senior All-American #12 Cassio Pero gave his team four more points when he disposed Nick Walpole, 12-3, in their 141-pound match. Already ahead 4-1 in the third, Pero (Chicago Heights, Ill.) electrified the crowd when he logged three takedowns en-route to the major decision. At 149, #12 Troy Tirapelle extended Illinois' lead when he upset #7 Matt Coughlin, 4-3. In the third, with the match tied at two, Tirapelle (Clovis, Calif.) took the lead on a late takedown. Coughlin escaped with time running out, only to see Tirapelle win by a point.
In the main event of the afternoon, #1 Mike Poeta handed #7 Brandon Becker his first dual-meet loss of the season when he took a 7-3 decision at 157. With no scoring in the first period, Poeta (Highwood, Ill.) took an early lead in the second on a three-point nearfall. Coughlin countered, however, by scoring a reversal to cut the lead to one. In the third, Poeta exploded with a takedown and a two-point nearfall to put away the Hoosier two-time All-American.
#14 Roger Smith-Bergsrud upset #11 Max Dean, 3-2, in their 165-pound bout. With the match tied at one in the third period, Smith-Bergsrud (Lake Bluff, Ill.) went ahead on a takedown. After a Dean escape, the Illinois sophomore fought off the Hoosier junior until time expired. At this point in the dual, Illinois was comfortably ahead 22-6.
In the final match of the day, Trevor Perry edged Nick Guida, 6-5, in double overtime. The two 174-pounders traded takedowns and escapes in regulation to send the match into overtime. With no scoring in the sudden victory, the match entered the tie-break periods. Perry picked up two points on a penalty point and an escape in the first 30-second period. Guida (Allentown, Pa.) narrowed the margin on an escape but time ran out before he could take the lead.
"Toughness was a big part of our plan today." Said head coach Mark Johnson. "We wanted to wrestle tough, put pressure on them and never let up. I'm pleased with how we took command of matches and how we never lost our composure."
The Fighting Illini continue Big Ten action on Friday, Jan. 26 when they travel to East Lansing, Mich. and face No. 19 Michigan State. The dual starts at 7 p.m.
No. 16 Illinois 22, No. 13 Indiana 9 Attendance:393 184: #12 Marc Bennett dec. #15 John Dergo, 8-6 0-3 197: Patrick Bond dec. Nathan Everhart, 6-1 3-3 HWT: Josh Buuck dec. John Wise, 7-4 3-6 125: #10 Gabe Flores dec. #9 Angel Escobedo, 4-2 6-6 133: #9 Jimmy Kennedy dec. #19 Andrae Hernandez, 5-4 9-6 141: #12 Cassio Pero maj. dec. Nick Walpole, 12-3 13-6 149: #12 Troy Tirapelle dec. #7 Matt Coughlin, 4-3 16-6 157: #1 Mike Poeta dec. #7 Brandon Becker, 7-4 19-6 165: #14 Roger Smith-Bergsrud vs. #11 Max Dean, 3-2 22-6 174: Trevor Perry dec. Nick Guida, 6-5 (TB1) 22-9