Gannon Outlasts AU Wrestlers, 22-18

Brandon Davis
Brandon Davis

            Some people have stamp collections. Others hoard baseball cards.  Ashland University wrestling coach Tim Dernlan looks to collect bonus points.  He treats those like a wheat penny.

            After just about every wrestling match, Dernlan recites how the bonus points in a match played out. He did it on Friday night (Jan. 6) at Kates Gymnasium and his tone wasn't pleasant after the Gannon Golden Knights earned some "mint condition," added points in a 22-18 victory over the eighth-ranked Eagles.

            "That's the Gannon team we expected," offered Dernlan.  "That's a tough team. They outfought us. The matches we lost they outfought us.  I told the guys before the match we needed to get the bonus points. They got them at 133 and 141 and that's tough to overcome."

            Senior Brandon Davis (Greensboro, N.C./Page) got the Eagles off and running with a major decision over Matt Turek, 17-6 at 125 pounds.  Davis is 14-7 and was in control from start to finish against Turk, a redshirt freshman from Painesville, Ohio.

             The Golden Knights wiped out that four-point AU advantage in quick fashion as Adam Weinell pinned Adli Edwards (Gahanna, Ohio/Thomas Worthington) at 133 and Scott Bulzan pinned Jake Garringer (Jamestown, Ohio/Miami Trace) at 141. Ethan Swope, ranked fifth in the country at 149 pounds, outlasted Marc Hoff (Liberty Center, Ohio), 7-5 in overtime to push the Gannon lead to 15-4. Hoff is ranked eighth in the nation.

            AU got an unexpected lift at 157 pounds from junior Dan Genetin (Navarre, Ohio/Massillon Perry). It's not unexpected that Genetin would do well, he has national championship experience.  But this was not a night that the junior expected to wrestle. His weekend schedule called for him to wrestle on Saturday at an open meet at Lake Erie.

            "Our plan was to have him wrestle at 149 on Saturday," explained Dernlan.  "I called him about a half hour before weigh-ins and asked him if he'd wrestle at 157. He stepped up and did a great job.  Based on that match it looks like he's wrestling more like himself. He's getting back to his style of wrestling."

            Senior Tommie Graszl (Mansfield, Ohio/Madison) gave the Eagles a 10-2 major decision at 165 and the Eagles trailed, 15-11. Graszl got stronger as the match went on and Gannon's Adam Greenman had no answers against the AU senior, who is 9-7.

            The Eagles would get two more victories on the night and both came from true freshmen.  At 174, Bryson Hall (Doylestown, Ohio/Chippewa) stopped Bret Terry, 14-5 to tie the match, 15-15. At 197, Joe Brandt (Holmesville, Ohio/Waynedale) won in overtime, 4-2 over Chris Boyd.  Hall is 13-5 and Brandt is 11-6.

            "Both of those guys did a great job," praised Dernlan.  "Young guys stepping up for us when you need them, that's great."

            Even with those wins by the rookies, Ashland was behind, 19-18 heading into the final bout of the night at 285.  A year ago, that happened on several occasions and Jacob Southwick (Bowling Green, Ohio/Otsego) was usually able to deliver a verdict that sent the Eagles to victory. A year ago, Southwick set a school single-season record for pins.

            On this night, he was not as fortunate. Gannon's Charles Lear edged Southwick, 4-3. This was Southwick's first live action since early in the season. Since that time, he's had knee surgery. His conditioning is not where it normally would be at this time of the year.  Lear was able to hold on for the one-point win that dropped Southwick's record to 6-2. The senior is ranked third in the country.

            "He needs to get in shape so he can wrestle like he's capable of," Dernlan said.  "We all know how good he is.  Having knee surgery was tough on him but there are some technical things he needs to do better.  It's not just conditioning."

            Ashland is 1-1 in dual meet action this season. This was Gannon's first dual meet of the year.

            The Eagles will host the eight-team Wendy's Mid-Atlantic Duals on Sunday, Jan. 15, beginning at 10 a.m.

 Gannon 22, Ashland 18

125 – Brandon Davis (AU) maj. dec. Matt Turek (GU), 17-6           4-0, AU

133 – Adam Weinell (GU) pins Adli Edwards (AU), 6:24                6-4, GU

141 – Scott Bulzan (GU) pins Jake Garringer (AU), 3:53               12-4, GU

149 – Ethan Swope (GU) dec. Marc Hoff (AU), 7-5 (OT)                15-4, GU

157 – Dan Genetin (AU) dec. Sean Floor (GU), 7-5                        15-7, GU

165 – Tommie Graszl (AU) maj. dec. Adam Greenman (GU), 10-2  15-11, GU

174 – Bryson Hall (AU) maj. dec. Bret Terry (GU), 14-5                  15-15

184 – Zack Zelcs (GU) maj. dec. Kurt Schaefer (AU), 8-0               19-15, GU

197 – Joe Brandt (AU) dec. Chris Boyd (GU), 4-2 (OT)                   19-18, GU

285 – Charles Lear (GU) dec. Jacob Southwick (AU), 4-3               22-18, GU