Penn State Wrestling Dominates Post-Intermission To Beat Rutgers

Story posted January 18, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Jordan Mansberger

Penn State wrestling improved to an 11-0 record and 3-0 in the Big Ten as they defeated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 27-11 Saturday afternoon.

Despite two-time national champion Nick Lee being out due to COVID-19 protocols, the Nittany Lions were able to keep their heads above water early before pulling away after the intermission.

Drew Hildebrandt gave his team the early lead after a close 4-2 victory over Dylan Shawver. The match was tied 2-2 after two periods, but Hildebrandt was able to secure a last second takedown on the edge of the circle at the end of the match to secure the win.

Next at 133lbs, Roman Bravo-Young showed up as advertised early, as he jumped out to an early 6-2 lead over Joseph Olivieri in the first with 1:28 in riding time. Bravo-Young would hold on to claim his 11-5 victory and put Penn State up 6-0 in team score.

But Rutgers would battle back.

No. 3 Sebastian Rivera would put up a dominating major win over Brandon Meredith, who was filling in for Nick Lee at 141lbs, to draw the team score closer at 6-5. Rivera got the technical fall victory and the bonus to close the match in the second period after he was up 12-1 after the first two minutes.

Arguably the match of the night followed at 149lbs between No. 18 Michael VanBrill and No. 19 Beau Bartlett. The match needed double overtime and two sudden victory periods to be decided before VanBrill got the takedown on Bartlett to secure the win giving Rutgers the 8-6 lead.

Rutgers would get another victory in bonus time at 157lbs as Tony Negron was unable to hold on to his 4-1 lead after one and fell to the freshman Robert Kanniard. The victory put the Scarlet Knights up 11-6 at the intermission.

The Nittany Lions would go undefeated after the intermission as their heavyweight dominated Rutgers.

Brady Berge started off the action with a technically sound match against Andrew Clark. Berge was able to take the lead in the second period with a takedown and then rode out the rest of the third to secure the 5-1 win.

Carter Starocci had his best match of the season against Connor O’Neil at 174 lbs. Starocci got the bonus points on the technical fall after a first period that ended with a 12-1 score that put Penn State back in the lead.

The most talked about match of the evening followed as No.1 Aaron Brooks took on No. 5 John Poznanski. Brooks captured his ninth victory of the season as he swung to the back of Poznanski early to be up 5-0 after one. Ultimately, the lead was too much to overcome for Poznanski as Brooks got the major 10-2 decision and put the Nittany Lions up 18-11 with two remaining matches.

Max Dean remained Mr. Consistent as he got a 9-6 victory over Greg Bulsak at 197 lbs. Greg Kervliet capped off the evening with his pin of Alex Esposito to solidify the 27-11 win.

Penn State will take on Michigan next in Ann Arbor this Friday, while Rutgers will take on Michigan State Friday as well.

Jordan Mansberger is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. If you would like to reach out to him you can do so at