MT. PLEASANT, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University wrestling squad earned its third-straight victory, defeating Central Michigan, 18-16, in a Mid-American Conference dual, Thursday, Feb. 13.
The Eagles saw themselves in a position that has been the story of the season with the match on the line heading into the final bout. Redshirt-senior Khodor Hoballah(Dearborn, Mich.-Dearborn) was the story of the night, pinning Adam Robinson and securing the extra point win EMU needed to take home its second conference victory.
The win marks the first time EMU has defeated CMU during Head Coach Derek DelPorto's tenure, improving the Green and White to 12-7 overall on the season and 2-4 in conference duals. Meanwhile, Central is 8-8 overall and 5-5 in league duals.
For the sixth-straight match the Eagles took the first lead when No., 18 Jared Germaine (Saginaw, Mich.-Saginaw Valley) grabbed a 9-3 decision at 125 lbs over No. 13 Corey Keener. The Chippewa's answered back, winning three-straight bouts and taking the 9-3 lead heading into the halfway point of the match.
After being tied 2-2 at the end of the third period, Brandon Zeerip (Fremont, Mich.-Hesperia) and No. 17 Luke Smith went into overtime. Zeerip clinched the big takedown he needed, earning the 4-2 decision and bringing Eastern within three of CMU.
"Jared and Brandon came thru so huge, beating two guys ranked ahead of them." said DelPorto.
Central extended its lead when it nabbed an extra point win at 165 lbs. and a decision at 174 lbs. to go up 16-6 over the Eagles.
Trailing by 10, the Green and White started to work its way back into the match with Phillip Joseph (Lapeer, Mich.-Lapeer East) notching a 5-1 decision at 184 lbs. and Anthony Abro (Canton, Mich.-Canton) securing a one-point victory at 197 lbs, bringing Eastern within four.
"Phillip came out and did his thing on the mat and Abro put us in a good position to score." stated DelPorto.
Finding himself in a familiar position with the match on the line, Hoballah showed his leadership heading into the third and final period trailing by one point. The Dearborn, Mich. native chose top in the third period and pinned Adam Robinson with just 30 seconds to spare to claim the 18-16 dual victory for the Green and White.
"What can I say about Khodor, his heart weights 200 lbs. in his 208 lb. body." commented DelPorto "He is down by one and picks top in the third period, now that is guts!"
Eastern returns to the friendly confines of the Convocation Center, Sunday, Feb. 16 when it plays host to the University at Buffalo in Mid-American Conference competition. The dual will be the Green and White's final regular season dual and will also recognize six senior grapplers before the first bout. First match is slated for 1 p.m. The six seniors on DelPorto's squad will be recognized before the dual at 12:45 p.m.
125: No. 18 Jared Germaine (EMU) dec. No. 12 Corey Keener (CMU), 9-3 (EMU, 3-0)
133: No. 10 Joe Roth (CMU) dec. Vincent Pizzuto (EMU), 6-2 (Tied, 3-3)
141: No. 9 Zach Horan (CMU) dec. Michael Shaw (EMU), 5-2 (CMU, 6-3)
149: Scott Mattingly (CMU) dec. Nicholas Barber (EMU), 6-1 (CMU, 9-3)
157: Brandon Zeerip (EMU) dec. No. 20 Luke Smith (CMU), 4-2, sudden victory (CMU, 9-6)
165: Nick Becker (CMU) maj. dec. Dean Vettese (EMU), 10-2 (CMU, 12-6)
174: No. 8 Mike Ottinger (CMU) dec. Jacob Davis (EMU), 3-2 (CMU, 16-6)
184: Phillip Joseph (EMU) dec. Craig Kelliher (CMU), 5-1 (CMU, 16-9)
197: Anthony Abro (EMU) dec. Jackson Lewis (CMU), 6-5 (CMU, 16-12)
HWT: Khodor Hoballah (EMU) pinned Adam Robinson (CMU), 6:28 (EMU, 18-16)
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Nice to see Canton's Anthony Abro contributing to team success at the collegiate level.
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