Updated Sun, Jan 27, 2013 8:39 pm
The Ohio wrestling team came from behind to defeat Michigan State Sunday, 22-16. The Bobcats won the final four matches to seal the win on Senior Day.
Wins from Harrison Hightower (165) and Cody Walters (174) got the ball rolling and began reducing Michigan State’s 10-point lead. The momentum shift was sealed when Ryan Garringer (184) pinned John Rizqallah.
Rizgallah is ranked 18th nationally, and the win drew Garringer’s record to 15-13. The pin brought the crowd to life for the final match.
“Ryan’s a pinner, he always has been and he always will be,” head coach Joel Greenlee said. “He’s just a big move guy.”
The Bobcats were ahead 19-16 and got the final win they needed from Phil Wellington (197). Wellington, ranked 32nd, took down Luke Jones, ranked 31st, 6-4.
Wellington and Jones faced each other in the beginning of the season and Jones came out on top. That was not the story Sunday.
“I knew going into it that I was going to be that last match and it was all going to come down to me,” Wellington said. “I already went in with that mind set and it felt great.”
The Bobcats started off slow, losing the first two matches. They were never to be counted out thanks to wins from Joe Munos (133) and Kagan Squire (141). Munos scored five points in the final five seconds of his match to defeat Brandon Fifield.
The win draws Ohio’s record to 6-5 and gives them confidence after going 2-0 this weekend. It also has good implications for the conference’s ability to go toe to toe with top caliber opponents.
“It’s exciting for our team, it’s exciting for our program,” Greenlee said.
The Bobcats’ next match is against Clarion Feb. 8 in Pennsylvania.