College Wrestling News

Ness Win Caps Comeback in Columbus

February 1, 2009

Jayson Ness recorded his second win over the nation’s top-ranked 133 pounder in as many weekends, capping off a furious Minnesota comeback as the 10th-ranked Gophers (13-4, 3-0) upset No. 5 Ohio State (10-2, 1-1) on Sunday. The Gophers rallied from a 16-6 deficit by winning the last four matches of the dual to beat the Buckeyes at St. John’s Arena in Columbus.

Just one week after defeating then-No. 1 Franklin Gomez of Michigan State in Minneapolis, Ness knocked off current No. 1 Reece Humphrey on Sunday. After a scoreless opening period, Ness used a reversal in the second period and a takedown following a neutral start in the final stanza to secure his victory and the 18-16 dual meet win for Minnesota. 

After wins by Gordon Bierschenk (197 pounds), Ben Berhow (Heavyweight) and Zach Sanders (125 pounds) cut the Ohio State lead to 16-15 entering the final match, the win by Ness over Humphrey put the finishing touches on the comeback and kept Minnesota perfect in Big Ten duals this season.

After the Buckeyes sprang to a 16-6 advantage with three consecutive bonus point wins in the middle weights, Bierschenk stopped the bleeding with a 5-2 decision victory over Cody Gardner at 197 pounds. Berhow then scored another big win for the Gophers when he took a 6-2 decision from the Buckeyes’ 17th-ranked Corey Morrison at heavyweight. Sanders’ 13-7 decision win over Nikko Triggas at 125 pounds set the stage for Ness’ heroics in the final match of the day.

In one of the other most highly-anticipated matches of the day, the Gophers’ Mike Thorn defeated Ohio State’s J Jaggers with a 6-4 overtime victory in the opening bout of the dual at 141 pounds. The match between the Minnesota sophomore and defending NCAA champion Jaggers was the third between the two this season. Thorn stunned then top-ranked Jaggers at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 5 before Jaggers took a 7-2 decision from Thorn in the Buckeyes’ 25-12 victory over the Gophers at the National Duals. 

With Jaggers holding a narrow 1-0 lead heading into the third period, two Thorn reversals and another by Jaggers netted Thorn a 4-3 advantage with :36 remaining. Jaggers was able to wriggle free for an escape 15 seconds later to tie the score and send the match to overtime. Following a neutral start, Thorn recorded a takedown with 26 seconds remaining in the extra period to secure his win.

Minnesota senior Tyler Safratowich moved within two wins of 100 career victories with his 8-5 decision win over OSU’s Sean Nemec at 157 pounds. Safratowich’s win gave Minnesota a 6-3 lead in the dual through three bouts.

The Gophers will return to the Twin Cities where they will host two more Big Ten duals next weekend. Minnesota will host No. 18 Michigan on Friday night and No. 19 Northwestern on Sunday afternoon at the Sports Pavilion. Tickets for both duals are still available and can be purchased by calling 1-800-U-GOPHER or by contacting the Gopher Ticket Office at 612-624-8080.

#10 Minnesota 18, #5 Ohio State 16
141: #8 Mike Thorn (MN) dec. #12 J Jaggers (OSU), 6-4    3-0
149: #4 Lance Palmer (OSU) dec. Joe Grygelko (MN), 7-0    3-3 
157: #18 Tyler Safratowich (MN) dec. Sean Nemec (OSU), 8-5   6-3 
165: #2 Colt Sponseller (OSU) maj. dec. Scott Glasser (MN), 12-4   6-7
174: Dave Rella (OSU) maj. dec. Matt Everson (MN), 13-5    6-11
184: #2 Mike Pucillo (OSU)) tech. fall Sonny Yohn (MN), 21-4    6-16
197: Gordon Bierschenk (MN) dec. Cody Gardner (OSU), 5-2    9-16
Hwt: #20 Ben Berhow (MN) dec. #17 Corey Morrison (OSU), 6-2   12-16
125: #5 Zach Sanders (MN) dec. Nikko Triggas (OSU), 13-7     15-16
133: #5 Jayson Ness (MN) dec. #1 Reece Humphrey (OSU), 5-0   18-16

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