Injury default decisive in Flashes’ 21-12 loss to CMU

Michael Mann

A crucial injury default was the difference for the Kent State Flashes in their Sunday home meet against Central Michigan.

The Flashes fell 21-12 to the Chippewas, capping off a weekend that started with a tough 21-16 road loss to the Ohio Bobcats on Friday.

While watching Kent State’s Ian Miller face off against Central Michigan’s Luke Smith, fans quickly turned from entertained to concerned as screams emerged from the mat.

Sophomore Ian Miller uttered shrieks of pain while in a lock with Smith before dropping to the mat, clutching his left arm.

Silence immediately fell upon the whole crowd in worry of Miller’s health.

Miller came into the match as one of Kent’s emerging stars amidst such a young and developing roster. Miller’s 20-3 record and fantastic performance throughout the season placed him at number seven among the Division 1 wrestlers in the 157-pound weight class.

“It’s wrestling, kids get hurt,” Kent Coach Jim Andrassy said. “I’ve watched the film five times. It doesn’t look too bad, not season ending.”

Miller had to accept a medical default that gave Central Michigan a 15-3 lead over the Flashes.

Prior to Miller going down, Mack McGuire’s phenomenal stretch of seven consecutive victories would be ended in a close 3-1 decision to the Chippewa’s Joe Roth.

Sophomore Mike DePalma put the first points on the board for Kent State with his decisive 11-6 victory when facing Scott Mattingly of Central Michigan.

“I toughed it out for seven minutes,” DePalma said after his fight. “I’ve been wrestling through this injury; I definitely just want to get it healed up.”

Kent State’s Sam Wheeler faced being down by a sizable margin going into the second period 6-0 against Craig Kelliher.

“I was fighting for my life,” Wheeler said. “I haven’t been on my back all year. I was hoping I didn’t get pinned. I knew if I got out of that I could come back.”

Wheeler earned two takedowns and ran down Kelliher’s riding time earned in the first two periods to earn himself a comeback triumph of 9-8.

“Sam had wrestled that guy a total of seven times,” Coach Andrassy added. “He knew he was better.”

A fantastic win puts sophomore Wheeler at an amazing 25-4 record for this season.

Cole Baxter of Kent State would earn some more points for the Flashes with his 5-1 win against Jackson Lewis in his 194-pound weight class.

Freshman Mimmo Lytle ended the match for the Flashes. Lytle earned a takedown within the final 20 seconds of the third period to edge the Chippewas’ Adam Robinson by a score of 3-1.

Despite these successes, the Flashes failed to attain wins in any of the other weight classes. This earned the Flashes a 21-12 loss.

“It wasn’t the best weekend for us,” Coach Andrassy said. “We have to regroup after that and move forward.”

The Flashes will be back on the mat Friday against Eastern Michigan in Ypsilanti for their third consecutive MAC matchup. 

Contact Michael Mann at [email protected].