No. 1 Penn State 42, No. 10 Lehigh 0: Nittany Lions Blank Mountain Hawks

By Rob Dougherty on December 3, 2018 at 8:00 am
Penn State whipped up on Lehigh on Sunday afternoon.
Jeff Curry - USA Today

Many will remember last season's matchup between Lehigh and Penn State that went right down to the wire. Penn State won that day 23-19 after a tight bout at heavyweight between Nick Nevills and Jordan Wood. However, this Lehigh team is far from the one that pushed Penn State to the limit, and they were simply outmatched by the Nittany Lions from the start. Penn State won all ten matches, including seven bonus-point victories en route to a dominant 42-0 win. What's even more astonishing is that Penn State didn't give up a single takedown in this dual.

The dual's marquee matchup was at heavyweight, and No. 5 Anthony Cassar really took it to No. 6 Jordan Wood. Cassar ended up winning 12-3 for a major decision that got Rec Hall rocking. What was even more impressive is the ease with which he got out from under Wood in the second period. One of Cassar's perceived weaknesses is his play from the bottom, while Wood is known for being a strong rider. Despite that, Cassar was able to escape quickly and take over. His pace was simply too much for Wood, and his tough ride on top just wore out the Mountain Hawk.

Lehigh opted for a random start, so this dual opened at 197 pounds. No. 1 Bo Nickal throttled No. 15 Jake Jakobsen with a 19-4 technical fall. This was a typical Nickal performance as he was far better on his feet than Jakobsen—he picked him apart repeatedly to obtain a third-period technical fall.

Devin Schnupp went 2-0 in duals this weekend after his win over Luke Resnick. Schnupp was rather comfortable on his feet and this one, and he was really able to ride Resnick. Schnupp ended up winning 6-1 in a fairly straightforward victory. Roman Bravo-Young had one of the most exciting matches in his 13-5 major over Brandon Paetzell. Toward the end of the 2nd period, Bravo-Young looked to be in trouble as Paetzell had his leg. However, the true freshman had other ideas. He was able to essentially somersault his way out of the takedown attempt and counter for his own two at the end of the period. 

No. 4 Nick Lee continued Penn State's perfect start with a 23-10 major decision over Ryan Pomrinca. Lee's pace has been as relentless as ever this season, and it will be interesting to see him against tougher competition. Jarod Verkleeren got the start at 149 pounds this match and won a 5-3 decision over Jimmy Hoffman. It will be telling who gets the nod between Verkleeren and Brady Berge for the Arizona State dual in a couple of weeks. 

No. 1 Jason Nolf got Penn State back on the bonus point trail with a third-period cradle of Josh Humphreys. Nolf is just quietly putting together an awesome season, and he is already at six pins. No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph was back in the lineup where he got Penn State's second fall of the dual over Trey Cornish. Joseph was out due to illness against Bucknell on Friday, so it was a welcomed sight for Penn State fans to see him get back to his dominant ways.

No. 2 Mark Hall got a fairly straightforward 6-2 decision over No. 7 Jordan Kutler. Hall and Kutler had a razor-tight 3-2 decision last year, but Hall really brought some of his best in this one. Hall's ride was on showcase in this one, and it's probably the most underrated aspect of his game; he amassed 1:38 in riding time in this one. Hall's next match is going to be against No. 1 Zahid Valencia in a rematch of last year's finals. 

No. 4 Shakur Rasheed closed out this dual against Andrew Price. Price was able to avoid Rasheed's cross-face cradle, but Rasheed was still dominant on top. He built up nearly four minutes of riding time in his 11-2 major decision. 

Penn State will be back on the mat on Friday, December 14 against Arizona State. 

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