No. 2 Ohio State was able to knock off No. 10 Arizona State on Sunday to advance to 3-0 on the season.
Despite being without two captains and All-Americans, senior Myles Martin and redshirt junior Kollin Moore, on Sunday, the Buckeyes were able to travel to Tempe, Arizona and escape with a win against a Sun Devils team that tried and knock the Buckeyes from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Both Martin and Moore spent the weekend in Romania competing for Team USA in the U23 World Championships, and were not available for this Top-10 matchup on Sunday, but the Buckeyes held their own with a 22-17 victory.
The match started out in the 125-pound division that saw redshirt freshman Brady Koontz make his debut. In a lopsided match that was quite the challenge, Koontz was able to get a lone point with an escape in a 18-1 loss to the sixth-best wrestler in the country in the 125-pound class, redshirt junior Ryan Millhof.
Luke Pletcher gave Ohio State its first win in the 133-pound matchup. He was able to take a 16-6 major decision to make it just a 5-4 lead for the Sun Devils.
Next up, it was another captain for the Buckeyes in Joey McKenna (141 lbs) taking Arizona State’s Corey Crooks down for a half-dozen points and ultimately winning in a shutout, 13-0.
In the only matchup between two nationally ranked wrestlers the No. 2 redshirt senior Micah Jordan, was able to knock off No. 11, redshirt junior Josh Maruca of the Sun Devils. After three first-period takedowns, he added five more in the second period and won in a back-and-forth affair, 18-8 by decision.
At 157 pounds, Ohio State redshirt junior Ke-Shawn Hayes went toe-to-toe with Arizona State redshirt senior Christian Pagdilao. After some back-and-forth action in the first two periods, things really heated up in the third when Hayes decided to hit the deck to begin the period, breaking free for a go-ahead takedown in the closing seconds for a 4-3 win.
In the 165-pound division, Arizona State redshirt junior Josh Shields, the eighth-best wrestler in the country in his class, was able to handle Ohio State redshirt freshman Kaleb Romero to a decision victory, while in the 174-pound division, defending champion redshirt junior Zahid Valencia was able to knock off Buckeyes senior Te’Shan Campbell.
The Sun Devils’ momentum would continue in the 184-pound division. Arizona State sophomore Kordell Norfleet pinned Ohio State redshirt freshman Ethan Smith, giving the Sun Devils the 17-15 lead with just two bouts left to go in the meet.
Ohio State needed a momentum shifter, and redshirt sophomore Kevin Snyder came through. He jumped out to an early 6-2 lead before forcing a pair of stalling warnings after getting three takedowns, guiding him to a 12-3 decision victory against redshirt junior Austyn Harris.
With the pressure mounting for the No. 2 team in the country, redshirt freshman Chase Singletary secured the victory. He and Arizona State redshirt freshman Brady Daniel battled to a 1-1 tie after six minutes. When it mattered the most, Singletary was able to get a match-winning takedown and Ohio State snuck out of Tempe with a 22-17 win and an undefeated record still intact.
The Buckeyes have now won six meetings in a row against the Sun Devils, and lead the all-time series 6-2.
Next up, Ohio State travels to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on November 30th.