Wolverine Comeback Stopped Short in Loss at No. 6 Ohio State
Kellen Russell

Feb. 3, 2012

Site: Columbus, Ohio (St. John Arena)
Score: #6 Ohio State 24, #12 Michigan 13
Records: U-M (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten), Ohio State (10-3, 4-3 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 5 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 2 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The No. 12-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team started to rally at the middleweights, but its comeback was cut short, aided by a controversial missed call in the 174-pound match, as No. 6 Ohio State held on to win 24-13 on Friday evening (Feb. 3) at St. John Arena.

Fifth-year senior Justin Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS) was knotted up at 2-2 with seventh-ranked Nick Heflin after 10 minutes of wrestling at 174 pounds, trading only escapes in regulation and the first round of tiebreakers. Starting down first in the second tiebreaker, Zeerip, ranked eighth, got away quickly out of a flurry, was awarded the escape, and immediately came around top to secure control. The official awarded Zeerip two points, and the Wolverine wrestler rode out the remaining 12 seconds of the frame. After an appeal from the OSU bench -- for a reversal -- the officials met and waved off the takedown call. Heflin escaped quickly in the second 30-second go to win 3-3 on riding time.

A win at 174 pounds would have provided Michigan its first lead of the dual meet, instead the Wolverines trailed 15-10 with three bouts remaining.

Junior/sophomore Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) had pulled U-M within two points with a 7-5 sudden-victory decision over Derek Garcia at 165 pounds. Garcia scored on takedowns in the first and third periods, but Yates rallied late, evening the score on a single leg in the final five seconds of regulation. He attacked quickly in the extra frame, scoring on a head in the hole to end the bout after 17 seconds.

The Buckeyes claimed three of the opening five matches, including a second-period pin at 133 pounds, to carry a 12-7 advantage into the intermission break. Michigan earned a bonus point of its own at 141, where fifth-year senior Kellen Russell (High Bridge, N.J./Blair Academy), ranked No. 1 nationally, converted on five takedowns to defeat Jarrod Boone, 11-2. Russell scored on a quick double leg and rode out the bulk of the first period before going after the major with two takedowns apiece in the final two frames. He improved to 23-1 on the season.

Junior/sophomore Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) won a wild match at 149 pounds, shutting down 14th-ranked Cam Tessari with a 7-0 decision. Grajales, ranked seventh, scored the bout's lone takedown on a throw by on the edge late of the mat in the first period. He added a three-point tilt at the final buzzer and finished the match with 2:26 in time advantage. It was Grajales' second win over a ranked opponent in as many weeks.

The Buckeyes won a close swing match at 157 pounds before the break as Josh Demas finished on an overtime duck under to edge junior/sophomore Brandon Zeerip (Fremont, Mich./Hesperia HS), 3-1. Both wrestlers failed to finished on deep attacks during regulation; Zeerip had the OSU wrestler on one leg after a high-crotch shot but lost it in his attempt to tomahawk.

Ohio State added two more wins at the upperweights, including a pin at 197 pounds, to clinch the victory.

With the dual decided, senior/junior heavyweight Ben Apland (Woodridge, Ill./Downers Grove South HS) avenged an earlier-season loss in the final match, rallying to claim a 4-2 decision over 18th-ranked Peter Capone. The Buckeye scored first, countering a low, diving Apland single leg attempt to secure a takedown and build riding time in the first period. Apland, ranked 10th, escaped late in the frame and after spending most of the second looking for a reversal, got in the closing seconds to take his first lead. The Wolverine rode out the third period to close out the match.

Michigan will wrap up its Big Ten Conference dual slate on Sunday (Feb. 5), traveling to State College, Pa., for a 2 p.m. dual against Penn State at Rec Hall.

#6 Ohio State 24, #12 Michigan 13
Individual rankings from InterMat

Match Score
125 -- #16 Johnni Dijulius (OSU) dec. Grant Pizzo, 9-5 OSU, 3-0
133 -- #3 Logan Steiber (OSU) pinned #18 Zac Stevens, 4:14 OSU, 9-0
141 -- #1 Kellen Russell (U-M) major dec. Jarrod Boone, 11-2 OSU, 9-4
149 -- #7 Eric Grajales (U-M) dec. #14 Cam Tessari, 7-0 OSU, 9-7
157 -- #20 Josh Demas (OSU) dec. Brandon Zeerip, 3-1 SV OSU, 12-7
165 -- #17 Dan Yates (U-M) dec. Derek Garcia, 7-5 SV OSU, 12-10
174 -- #7 Nick Heflin (OSU) dec. #8 Justin Zeerip, 3-3 TB2 OSU, 15-10
184 -- #10 C.J Mangrum (OSU) dec. Hunter Collins, 8-3 OSU, 18-10
197 -- #20 Andrew Campolattano (OSU) pinned Chris Heald, 0:18 OSU, 24-10
Hwt -- #10 Ben Apland (U-M) dec. #18 Peter Capone, 4-2 OSU, 24-13

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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