In MAC battle, Kent State upsets No. 16 Central Michigan, 21-13, on Senior Day

By Aaron Chimenti, Kent State | Feb. 11, 2018, 11:09 p.m. (ET)
KENT, Ohio – Kent State made Sunday afternoon a Senior Day to remember with a 21-13 upset over No. 16 Central Michigan. Two overtime victories and a surprising pin at heavyweight were among the Golden Flashes’ six hard fought wins at the M.A.C. Center.

“They had two guys out of the lineup, but any time you can get a win against Central Michigan, I’ll take it,” Head Coach Jim Andrassy said.

With his team down 3-0, junior Kyle Conel (197) showed a sign of more things to come with a go-ahead takedown late in third period. In the battle of Top 30 wrestlers, Conel prevailed 6-5 over Jordan Atienza.

The afternoon’s biggest difference –maker was senior Stephen Suglio (285), who pinned No. 18 Matt Stencel with two seconds left in the second period. Suglio gave up a takedown in the second and trailed 4-2, but a quick burst and roll from the bottom quickly put Stencel on his back.

“It was exhilarating,” Suglio said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better Senior Day. It was awesome to be able to get the momentum rolling.”

Two matches later, it was Anthony Tutolo’s turn to come up with a big takedown with under 20 seconds to go. Early in the third, Dresden Simon led Tutolo 3-2 with over a minute of riding time built up. Stalling calls on Simon from the neutral position gave Tutolo a 4-3 lead on the scoreboard, but a takedown was still needed to avoid overtime. Looking to prevent another stalling call, Simon shot in on Tutolo, who spun around for two points and the eventual 6-3 victory.

The Flashes then claimed back-to-back decisions in sudden victory at 141 and 149. Sophomore Tim Rooney trailed Reiley Brown 4-2 to start the third period, but a takedown and 1:06 of riding time was enough to force overtime. A shot by Rooney led to a long scramble and eventual takedown with six seconds left in the extra period.

Redshirt freshman Nick Monico (149) was unable to finish off a takedown until a shot in sudden victory for a 3-1 decision over Nolan Saxton.

Junior Casey Sparkman (157) then picked an opportune time to earn career victory No. 100. Colin Hefernan led 1-0 in the second and took a shot that came up empty. Sparkman caught Hefernan on his knees and drove him straight to his back for a six-point move. Hefernan battled back with a pair of takedowns, but Sparkman hung on for an 8-6 triumph.

“Things went really well at the beginning of the year,” Andrassy said. “We had some bumps and bruises in the middle and hopefully this was the kind of match that can change us and we can finish strong.”

Kent State (12-9) returns to action Friday (Feb. 16), visiting Northern Illinois in its final Mid-American Conference dual of the season, beginning at 8 p.m. Eastern.

KENT STATE 21 CENTRAL MICHIGAN 13
184 lbs | Jordan Ellingwood (CMU) over Colin McCracken (KSU) Dec. 10-3
197 lbs | Kyle Conel (KSU) over Jordan Atienza (CMU) Dec. 6-5
285 lbs | Stephen Suglio (KSU) over Matt Stencel (CMU) Pin 4:58
125 lbs | Drew Hildebrandt (CMU) over Jake Ferri (KSU) Dec. 6-0
133 lbs | Anthony Tutolo (KSU) over Dresden Simon (CMU) Dec. 6-3
141 lbs | Tim Rooney (KSU) over Reiley Brown (CMU) Dec. 7-5 SV1
149 lbs | Nolan Saxton (CMU) over Nick Monico (KSU) Dec. 3-1 SV
157 lbs | Casey Sparkman (KSU) over Colin Hefernan (CMU) Dec. 8-6
165 lbs | Logan Parks (CMU) over Isaac Bast (KSU) Maj. Dec. 12-3
174 lbs | CJ Brucki (CMU) over Dylan Barreiro (KSU) Dec. 9-4