Wrestling drops No. 25 Boilermakers

By Jay Lee

In a complete reversal from last week’s 32-4 loss to No. 1 Iowa, the No. 7 Illinois wrestling team took eight of ten matches against No. 25 Purdue to win, 29-11.

The Illini (8-1, 1-1 Big Ten) led the Boilermakers (11-2-1, 0-1-1) the entire night, jumping out to a 26-5 lead after eight matches. B.J. Futrell, Jimmy Kennedy, Ryan Prater, Mike Poeta and Jordan Blanton all scored major decisions on the night.

“We were more relaxed out there,” head coach Mark Johnson said. “We all know that we’re a better team than what we showed last week, but it’s all a matter of proving it.”

The Illini were without junior Patrick Bond, who had been battling flu-like symptoms. Junior Jake Norman filled in for Bond at the 197 pound class, and was pinned in 2:35 by Purdue’s Logan Brown.

Illinois pushed the lead to 19-5 after Illinois’ Roger Smith-Bergsrud grabbed a hold of both of Purdue’s Luke Manuel’s ankles to secure a takedown as time expired. After a brief discussion between the officials concerning whether or not time had expired or not, the points and the match were award to Smith-Bergsrud.

“I had him reeling, and I was getting stronger towards the end,” Smith-Bergsrud said. “Even if it went into overtime, I liked my chances.”