WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Four Purdue seniors had their hands raised in their final appearance in Holloway Gymnasium while leading the 25th-ranked Boilermakers to a dominating 30-9 victory over in-state rival Indiana (4-10, 0-9 B1G) Friday. The Old Gold & Black took eight weights, including three with bonus points and two in sudden victory, to close out the dual season at 10-8, 3-6 B1G.
"There was great energy from most of the guys closing out the season tonight," head wrestling coach Tony Ersland said. "We put a lot of points on the board; we separated ourselves from the other team. We can end on a very high note and one that we can definitely build on going into the B1G Tournament. We are always moving forward and up. I think that you see that we are peaking at the right time. I saw some of our best wrestling tonight at a lot of weights. We are in a good spot."
Seniors Patrick Kissel and Braden Atwood registered back-to-back decisions after Chad Welch set the tone in the opening bout at 174 pounds. A takedown 34 seconds into sudden victory lifted the redshirt junior past No. 15 Nate Jackson, 6-4, for his fifth upset of the season. C. Welch moved to 19-13 with the win.
"I was ready to go out, get the team going, and get the excitement going in here," C. Welch said. "I felt that I needed higher energy to do that. I needed to go out there and attack and wrestle my match. It has been a while since I came out first, it is more exciting. I loved going first against a ranked guy. I was ready to go. Even in overtime, I knew I was going to win. This is huge, a huge confidence builder heading into Big Tens."
Following at 184, Kissel took Matt Irick down three times, escaped twice and rode the Hoosier for 3:26 en route to a 9-7 decision. The Sheboygan, Wis., native, notched his 15th win of the season while wrestling in his 95th-career match.
Atwood eliminated a 3-1 deficit with only seconds remaining in regulation and rallied to a 6-4 sudden victory decision over Luke Sheridan. The 15th-ranked 197-pounder earned the winning takedown in dramatic fashion as just six seconds were on the clock in the 60-second winner-take-all session. His final dual victory was the 50th of his career while moving to 12-6 on the season.
"I did not wrestle my style in the first period, but I knew I could score, I knew I could come back," Atwood said. "I was willing to put it all out there; I was willing to risk everything. I had the crowd behind me. I couldn't lose."
Out of the break, No. 11 Danny Sabatello put on a clinic in a 19-4 technical fall of Alonzo Shepherd in 6:25. Sabatello tallied six takedowns and six back points for the second technical fall of his redshirt junior campaign. He pushed his season mark to 24-5 at 133 pounds and wrapped up the B1G slate with a 7-2 record.
Seniors Nick Lawrence and Brandon Nelsen then took to the mat for a final time at 141 and 149 pounds, respectively. Lawrence controlled Indiana's Sean Brown in a 16-5 major decision. Hailing from Westlake, Ohio, Lawrence had a trio of takedowns in each of the first two periods, escaped in the third, received two stalling penalty points and added 2:02 riding time. The fifth major decision of his senior season lifted him to 19-13.
"It is definitely good to go out in a dominant win like that," Lawrence said. "It is what I wanted to do my last time wrestling here [in Holloway]. I did not care about winning or losing, I just wanted to wrestle hard. I was focusing on the process and wrestling hard; I knew that the results would come."
Nelsen disposed of Trevor Moody using a 7-3 decision that saw him score three takedowns and clock 1:04 of riding time. For the third time in his career, Nelsen (20-10) has racked up 20-or more wins in a season.
The postseason awaits the Boilermakers. It will be two weeks before the B1G Championships open on March 7. The two-day event will be hosted by Ohio State at St. John Arena.
No. 25 PURDUE 30, INDIANA 9
174 // Chad Welch (Purdue) dec. No. 15 Nate Jackson (Indiana), 6-4 (SV1)
184 // Patrick Kissel (Purdue) dec. Matt Irick (Indiana), 9-7
197 // No. 15 Braden Atwood (Purdue) dec. Luke Sheridan (Indiana), 6-4 (SV1)
285 // Garrett Goldman (Indiana) dec. Gelen Robinson (Purdue), 4-3 (TB2)
125 // Luke Welch (Purdue) won by forfeit
133 // No. 11 Danny Sabatello (Purdue) tech. fall Alonzo Shepherd (Indiana), 19-4 (6:25)
141 // Nick Lawrence (Purdue) maj. dec. Sean Brown (Indiana), 16-5
149 // Brandon Nelsen (Purdue) dec. Trevor Moody (Indiana), 7-3
157 // No. 9 Doug Welch (Purdue) dec. Luke Blanton (Indiana), 6-3
165 // No. 6 Taylor Walsh (Indiana) pinned Pat Robinson (Purdue), 2:16