By Kyle Kelley
Central Michigan Sports Information
MOUNT PLEASANT – Central Michigan claimed at least a share of the Mid-American Conference regular season title in dominating fashion Sunday afternoon, defeating rival Kent State, 27-8.
The Chippewas (11-3, 4-0 MAC) claimed eight of the 10 matches in the dual, including the first six, en route to earning their 13th regular season title and eighth in 10 seasons.
CMU can clinch an outright title with a win over in-state foe Eastern Michigan on Friday, February 8.
A pair of top 10 wrestlers in seniors Christian Cullinan and Scotti Sentes opened the dual with decisions, but it was junior Scott Mattingly that got the crowd on its feet and showed the Golden Flashes (6-4, 2-1 MAC) it was not their day.
Mattingly fell behind Luke Kern on a takedown just a minute into the first period, but was able to score a reversal just 25 seconds later to tie the match. The junior was then able to work Kern to his back and claimed the first-period fall at the 2:12 mark to put the Chippewas up 12 to negative one.
Senior Donnie Corby claimed a 8-2 decision at 149 pounds with a takedown in each of the three periods, while redshirt freshman Lucas Smith and sophomore Mike Ottinger claimed decisions at 157 and 165 pounds.
After their first loss of the day at 174 pounds, No. 2 senior Ben Bennett got the Chippewas back on track with a 1-0 decision at 184 pounds over No. 16 Casey Newburgh. Jarod Trice, ranked No. 6 in the country at the heavyweight division, closed the contest with a 2-0 decision over Keith Witt.
The Chippewas are back in action next Sunday when they host Old Dominion at 2 p.m.
No. 11 Central Michigan 27, Kent State 8
125: No. 10 Christian Cullinan (CMU) dec. Steve Mitcheff, 1-0; CMU 3, Kent State -1*
133: No. 7 Scotti Sentes (CMU) dec. Mack McGuire, 6-1; CMU 6, Kent State -1
141: Scott Mattingly (CMU) pin Luke Kern, 2:12; CMU 12, Kent State -1
149: Donnie Corby (CMU) dec. Andy Candiello, 8-2; CMU 15, Kent State -1
157: Lucas Smith (CMU) dec. Tommy Sasfy, 6-3; CMU 18, Kent State -1
165: Mike Ottinger (CMU) dec. Tyler Buckwalter, 3-2; CMU 21, Kent State -1
174: Sam Wheeler (Kent) dec. Craig Kelliher, 5-2; CMU 21-2
184: No. 2 Ben Bennett (CMU) dec. No. 16 Casey Newburgh, 1-0; CMU 24-2
197: No. 1 Dustin Kilgore (Kent) pin Jackson Lewis, 1:43; CMU 24-8
Hwt: No. 6 Jarod Trice (CMU) dec. Keith Witt, 2-0; CMU 27-8
*One point was deducted from Kent State on unsportsmanlike conduct following the 125 match