Wrestling opens MAC play by beating Ohio 17-15

With the Central Michigan wrestling team ahead by six in the final match of the night, Ohio junior Jeremy Johnson had No. 9 senior Peter Sturgeon wrapped up and trying to avoid getting pinned.

Sturgeon endured the offensive attack by Johnson and avoided the pin to seal the 17-15 win for the Chippewas over Ohio Saturday night at McGuirk Arena.

“Peter was pretty tired,” said CMU head coach Tom Borrelli.  “He had a real tough match yesterday and that was probably a little bit emotionally draining.  But again, that’s good practice for the national tournament.”

It was the first Mid-American Conference game for CMU. Starting off 1-0.

CMU jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead after No. 19 sophomore Joe Roth and junior Christian Cullinan posted decisions at 125 pounds and 133 pounds.

“That was the difference in the dual meet,” Borrelli said.  “If we don’t win those first two matches then we don’t win the dual meet.”

The Bobcats responded by winning three decisions in a row taking a 9-6 lead.

With Ohio leading 12-9, No. 9 Ben Bennett came up big for the Chippewas.  Bennett was relentless on the attack, displaying a combination of power, skill and endurance.  He won the match by technical fall giving CMU a 14-12 lead.

“My mindset was to pick up bonus points and score a lot of points,” Bennett said.  “And that’s when I think things open up when you’re just wrestling and not trying to force things.”

During the meet, Borrelli contemplated moving Bennett up to wrestle at 197-pounds instead of senior Chad Friend.  He decided against it to see if Friend could handle the pressure.

Friend responded by earning the win and increasing the Chippewas lead to 17-12.

CMU 6-2 overall after losing yesterday to No. 4 Minnesota. The Chippewas don’t play again until Dec. 3 at Buffalo at 1 p.m.