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Ohio freshman Noah Forrider (right) grapples with Kent State junior Tyler Small (left). The Bobcats defeated the Golden Flashes 21-16 for the first time since 2005 during their meet at The Convo on Friday. (Isaac Hale | Staff Photographer)

Wrestling: Ohio tops Kent State and Buffalo in MAC competition

Although the outcomes were the same, this weekend’s pair of victories for Ohio came in completely different styles.

On Friday, Ohio stormed back from an early deficit to defeat Kent State in a nail-biter at home, 21-16, for its first victory over the Golden Flashes since 2005.

The Bobcats then turned around and made a trip to Buffalo, where they came through with a crushing 34-6 victory.

It was a difficult start for the Bobcats on Friday when, after two tightly contested periods, 141-pound freshman Noah Forrider was pinned by Tyler Small, putting Ohio down 6-0. The Golden Flashes held on to that lead for a good amount of time, going back and forth with the Bobcats and entering the heavyweight match with a 13-12 lead.

Everything changed when No. 11 redshirt senior Jeremy Johnson pinned Mimmo Lytle with two seconds remaining in the first period. The fall was Johnson’s fourth straight and provided a huge swing in both score and momentum, giving the Bobcats their first lead of the contest at 18-13 with two matches remaining.

“Jeremy is on a tear,” coach Joel Greenlee said. “He’s wrestling better than I’ve ever seen him wrestle. I’ve been around wrestling a long time, and there’s not too many guys that I don’t want to wrestle, but I don’t want to wrestle that guy. He’s in such good shape, and he has such a big gas tank. He gets you exhausted.”

Sophomore KeVon Powell, 125 pounds, had no problem feeding off the momentum from Johnson’s match, nearly getting a pin in the first period. He missed the pin, but went on to win with a 9-5 decision, clinching the dual for Ohio (8-2, 4-2 MAC).

“(Coach Joel Greenlee) had to calm me down going into the match,” Powell said. “He told me not to get my mind set on the scoreboard, and that I just had to wrestle my match. It was tough, but I had to slow everything down and really take it one period and one point at a time to win the match.”

Although Ohio did a fine job coming back against Kent State, no such heroics were necessary during Sunday’s match against Buffalo. The Bobcats won each of the first seven matches of the dual to race out to a 31-0 lead before Buffalo could get on the scoreboard.

Three Bobcats recorded falls, as 133-pound sophomore Kagan Squire, 165-pound redshirt junior Harrison Hightower, and No. 9 redshirt sophomore Cody Walters at 174 pounds each gave bonus points to cement a dominating performance over their MAC counterparts.

Johnson saw his streak of four straight pins come to an end on Sunday, but still won with a 9-5 decision.


This article appeared in print under the headline "Wrestling: Bobcats sweep weekend"

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