Flashes avoid being put down by consecutive pins, win through tiebreaker

Michael Mann

The rulebook had to be brought out to hand the Kent State Flashes a tiebreaking win over Northern Illinois Saturday afternoon.

The rule to decide an even score broke down the match by overall class wins. The Flashes (10-8, 4-2 MAC) had earned six wins compared to Northern Illinois’ four. That edge in wins by class was the reason to change the 18-18 draw as a 19-18 win for the Flashes while visiting the Huskies for their final home match and Senior Day.

Sophomore Alfredo Gray opened the match with a very offensive mentality; consistently on the attack to his close 3-2 victory of the Northern Illinois Huskies’ counterpart of Nick Harrison. Mack McGuire followed Gray by breaking a streak of two consecutive losses and earning a 13-9 win in his 133-pound weight class. The nine points earned by the Huskies’ Nick Smith included two points that were challenged by Kent Coach Jim Andrassy, but the referee remained in favor of the initial call.

DePalma took to the mat after teammate Tyler Small came through as a 9-6 winner over Husky junior Tyler Argue. Northern Illinois Rob Jillard stepped into the ring knowing it was his final home dual, and quickly pinned down DePalma in the first period.

Senior T.J. Keklak of the Flashes stepped on after the quick pin of DePalma, only to find a similar fate to Andrew Morse of the Huskies.

Almost instantly, Kent State was trailing 12-9 in a match that had earned solid wins and sat after three classes with a 9-0 lead.

The Flashes rattled off three wins after the two falls, including the 8-6 overtime win by Tyler Buckwalter in the 165-pound class against opponent Shaun’Qae McMurty.

Buckwalter put a quick takedown on the board to earn the sudden death victory. Also within those three consecutive wins was that of Sam Miller, who consistently had fantastic showings on the mat and is putting a phenomenal season together for himself.  

With an 18-12 advantage at hand for Kent State, the Northern Illinois Huskies didn’t just roll over in defeat. Shawn Scott of Northern Illinois came through triumphant in the sudden death overtime period against Kent wrestler Cole Baxter. Senior Jared Torrence cemented his 51st career win during his final home match as a Husky, earning just a marginal 1-0 victory of the Flashes’ freshman Mimmo Lytle. Lytle chose the neutral position going into the third period of the match behind 1-0 after giving up an escape to Torrence in the second.

That victory by Torrence for Northern Illinois would tie the match up at 18-18 until the rules came into play and decided the tiebreaker at 19-18 in favor of Kent State.

The Flashes will continue their road trip against Northern Iowa this Sunday. The team will not wrestle at home until Feb. 21, when they will face Edinboro and Missouri in their final duals meet of the season.

Contact Michael Mann at [email protected].