Feb. 9, 2007
The No. 9 Illinois Wrestling team picked up another Big Ten win after defeating Purdue, 29-7. With it's seventh-straight loss, Purdue finished the Big Ten season without a victory. The Illini took eight out of 10 weight classes in the dual, with #8 Jimmy Kennedy, #12 Cassio Pero, #12 Roger Smith-Bergsrud, #16 John Dergo and #20 Patrick Bond all winning their matches. Injuries kept #16 Troy Tirapelle (149) and top-ranked Mike Poeta (157) out of the lineup. Illinois has now won nine in-a-row against the Boilermakers and are now 11-3 against them in head coach Mark Johnson's 15-year career.
The dual started at 149 and Purdue took an early 3-0 lead when Dan Zeman dropped a 23-15 major decision to #9 Jake Patacsil. Illinois turned the dual around, however, when they took the next six matches. Clint Arlis got the Illini on the board by punishing Eric Howe in a close 6-4 decision of their 157-pound bout. Arlis (Batavia, Ill.) opened up by scoring his only takedown of the match. At the beginning of the third, with Arlis in the lead 4-2, Howe tied it with a reversal. After a pair of escapes, Arlis came away with the win.
At 165, #12 Roger Smith-Bergsrud edged Justin Fraga, 5-4. Fraga came out firing in the first with a takedown, but Smith-Bergsrud (Lake Bluff, Ill.) closed out the period with an escape. Fraga had a 4-3 at the start of the third when Smith-Bergsrud scored a late takedown to take the lead and the match. Illinois extended their lead over the Boilermakers to 9-4 after Matt Winterhalter (Durand, Ill.) took a 6-1 decision over Jason Martin at 174.
At 184, true-freshman #16 John Dergo won a 12-4 major decision over senior Nick Skinner. Dergo (Morris, Ill.) came out firing with a takedown in the early seconds of the first period. After a Skinner escape, Dergo quickly followed it up with another takedown. With Dergo ahead, 7-2, heading into the third, he scored two more takedowns to seal the match and kept the Purdue grappler winless in the Big Ten.
At 197, #20 Patrick Bond handed #13 Nathan Moore his second conference loss when he took a 9-5 decision. Moore got on board early with a takedown, but Bond (Chesapeake, Va.) followed with an escape and a takedown of his own in the final seconds of the first period. Bond's momentum carried over into the second when he turned a reversal, which was followed by an escape from Moore. In the third, Bond added two more takedowns to upset the Purdue senior in his final match at home.
Heavyweight John Wise picked up his second Big Ten win of the season after defeating David Pisarcik in a 3-0 decision. Purdue picked up three points at 125, when Brandon Tucker caught sixth-ranked Gabe Flores on his back, resulting in an 8-3 decision.
The Illini finished strong by winning the last two matches of the evening. True-freshman Jimmy Kennedy dominated Sean Schmaltz, 8-0, in their 133-pound bout. Kennedy scored three takedowns, an escape and picked up over two minutes of riding time to earn a major decision. Finally, at 141, senior Cassio Pero scored three takedowns before pinning Nick Bertucci in 6:34. Pero, who came into his senior year with a three career pins, surpassed that total with his fourth pin this season.
"We dominated tonight," said head coach Mark Johnson. "I think we could have taken all 10 weight classes, but we made some minor mistakes. We'll fix those. We wrestled tough and this is just another stepping stone for a successful season."
The Fighting Illini continue Big Ten action on the road when they head to Madison, Wis. on Sunday, Feb. 11 to take on the sixth-ranked Badgers. Match time is set for 1 p.m.
No. 9 Illinois 29, Purdue 7 Feb. 9, 2007 // West Lafayette, Ind. 149: #9 Jake Patacsil (PU) maj. dec. Dan Zeman (ILL), 23-15 0-4 157: Clint Arlis (ILL) dec. Eric Howe (PU), 6-4 3-4 165: #12 Roger Smith-Bergsrud (ILL) dec. Justin Fraga (PU), 5-4 6-4 174: Matt Winterhalter (ILL) dec. Jason Martin (PU), 6-1 9-4 184: #16 John Dergo (ILL) maj. dec. Nick Skinner (PU), 12-4 13-4 197: #20 Patrick Bond (ILL) dec. #13 Nathan Moore (PU), 9-5 16-4 HWT: John Wise (ILL) dec. David Pisarcik (PU), 3-0 19-4 125: Brandon Tucker (PU) dec. #6 Gabe Flores (ILL), 9-3 19-7 133: #8 Jimmy Kennedy (ILL) maj. dec. Sean Schmaltz (PU), 8-0 23-7 141: #12 Cassio Pero (ILL) fall Nick Bertucci (PU), 6:34 29-7