No.6 Illinois Defeats Wrestling Mocs, 29-10

Ilinois Alum Coached First UC Team

Sunday, January 6, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

A University of Illinois wrestling alum – Ken Carpenter – who once wrestled on the 1938 Fighting Illini NCAA runner-up squad - coached the first University of Chattanooga wrestling team 66 years ago this month (Jan. 1947).

Today, the modern version of Illinois wrestling is still a national power – currently ranked as high as No.6 (– as the Orange and Blue defeated host Chattanooga at Tennessee, 29-10, Sunday afternoon at Maclellan Gym.

Illinois (5-0) spotted the Mocs (4-5) a 10-0 lead after three matches before storming back for the win with two falls and a technical fall in final seven matches.

“Both teams are banged up and kept a couple of starters out of the lineup, but there were some good matches,” said Illinois coach Jim Heffernan.

“It’s good for our program to be a top-10 nationally-ranked squad, but then you have face reality in the fact that four of the teams ahead of us (Penn State, Minnesota, Iowa, Ohio State) are all in our conference (Big 10),” he stated.

Chattanooga Strong: The Mocs started strong as 285-pounder Kevin Malone used an escape and a solid effort on top to ride out his opponent for the win in overtime and a 3-0 UTC lead.

Nick Soto (125) and Marvin Lopez (133) followed with a major decision and regular decision for the 10-point advantage.

The Fighting Illini then flexed their top 10 muscles to win the final seven weights classes. Four nationally-ranked Illini were winners, including No.3 B.J. Furell (141) and No.4 Jordan Blanton (174).

“We have faced some of the best wrestlers in the nation the past couple of weeks (Madison Square Garden, the Southern Scuffle and today’s dual match) and facing that level of competition can only make us better,” said Soto who is second on the team in wins with 17, behind leader Niko Brown (19).

While UTC hosted the Scuffle, Illinois was winning its fourth Midlands title held at Northwestern U. (Evanston, Ill., Dec 29-30.

“The Midlands is the biggest wrestling event in our state so it is important for us to win it,” said Heffernan who was a 1986 NCAA champion for the U. of Iowa and a four-time All-American.

Tough Schedule: "I guess both Jim and I are both a little crazy for scheduling a match just a few days after national-caliber tournaments, but if we want to be an elite program we have to wrestle the best,” said UTC coach Heath Eslinger.

“We had some good wins today and have to continue to build on this.”

More Ken Carpenter: prior to coaching Chattanooga (5 yrs., 1947-1951), Carpenter was a three-year letter inner for the Illini (1936-38) and a member of the 1937 Big 10 Championship team ( NCAAs, 5th) and 1938 NCAA runner-up squad ... .

 Next Match: Sun. Jan. 20 – UTC travels to Cleveland State for a dual with the … UTC assistant coach Rocco Mansueto was a 3-time NCAA qualifier at Cleveland State

Next Home Match:  Sun. Jan. 27 – The Mocs host Southern Conference foe The Citadel on Wrestling Legends Weekend ….  The Mocs expect numerous wrestling alums to be in town in two weeks.

Big Ten and Chattanooga Prep Wrestlers:  A handful of Chattanooga area wrestlers have competed in the Big 10 … Lou Hudson (McCallie) won a Big Ten title for Michigan in 1969 … Baylor’s Moe Trail (Purdue) and Lane Headrick (Michigan) also earned medaled in the Big Ten tournament in the 1960s …  Baylor’s Jon Headrick also wrestled in the mid-1960s … Baylor’s Will Reisman was Academic All-Big Ten at Northwestern in the late 1990s … Red Bank state champ Darren McKnight was also an All-Big Ten performer at Michigan State.

Southern Open Alum: Mike Polz, father of Illinois senior Conrad Polz (No.8, at 165), wrestled in the Southern Open in the late 1970s for Eastern Illinois.


No. 6 Illinois 29, Chattanooga 10

285:  Kevin Malone (Chattanooga) dec. Chris Lopez, Sudden Victory, 2-1
125:  No.10 Nick Soto (Chattanooga) major dec. Dominic Olivieri, 14-1

133:  Marvin Lopez (Chattanooga) dec. Logan Arlis, 5-3

141:  No.3 B.J. Futrell (Illinois) pinned Dean Pavlou, 1:27

149:  Caleb Ervin (Illinois) dec. Jared Presley, 11-4

157:  Matthew Nora (Illinois) dec.Trey Stavrum, 8-1

165:  No.8 Conrad Polz (Illinois) dec. Josh Condon, 5-4

174:  No.4 Jordan Blanton (Illinois) pinned John Lampe, 3:13

184: No.11 Tony Dallago (Illinois) tech fall Robert Prigmore 5:27, 21-6

197:  Jeffrey Koepke (Illinois) dec. John Shrader, 7-2

Match by Match (play-by-play)

* 285 - Kevin Malone (UTC) dec. Chris Lopez, SV - 2-1   Mocs lead, 3-0

1st Period:  hand fighting, no score …. 2nd Period:  Malone takes down … escape in  :11 … 1-0 …

3rd Period: … Lopez down … escape in :21 … 1-1 …  end of regulation, 1-1

Sudden Victory: neutral … no score ….  :30 second period – Malone down …  escapes :19 … 2-1

:30 second period – Lopez down …  Malone rides him out … rides the left ankle and waist hard..


* 125 - No.7 Nick Soto  (UTC) major dec. Dominic Olivieri, 14-1 … Mocs lead, 7-0

1st Period:  Soto shoots …  each has a leg ... stalemate …  warning (1) Olivieri … Soto shoots and gets takedown, 2-0 … 2nd Period:  Olivieri down … Olivieri escapes at 1:13  2-1 … Soto gets second t.d.  4-1 …

warning (2) Olivieri … 5-1 … 3rd Period:  Soto down … Soto sits in, clears hips and then turns for escape and third t.d. , 7-1 … Soto 3-Pt NF  ... 10-1 … 3-Pt NF, 13-1 plus riding time … 14-1  

* 133 - Marvin Lopez (UTC) dec. Logan Arlis, 5-3 … Mocs lead 10-0

1st Period: Lopez gets single leg … lifts it …  and gains t.d.  2-0 … goes for cradle … nothing … 

2nd Period:  Lopez neutral … Lopez goes for far leg but nothing yet ... stalemate …   Arlis shoots … stalemate … Arlis gets leg and takedown  but Lopez gains reverse, leads 4-2 …

3rd Period: Arlis down  trails 4-2 …   stalemate … Lopez has riding time …  Arlis rolls  locked hands against Lopez   … Lopez leads 4-3 but has r.t. …. Arlis works for switch but does not get it


* 141 -  No.3 B.J. Futrell (Illini) pinned Dean Pavlou, 1:28 …. UTC leads 10-6

Futrell gets single leg for takedown, 2-0 …  Pavlou turns in, but Futrell gains cradle to his back for 3-pt  and fall 1:28 …


* 149 - Caleb Ervin (Illini) dec.  Jared Presley, 11-4    UTC leads 10-9

1st Period: Presley ties up and shucks for advantage but no score yet … and gains t.d. 2-0 … stalemate …  Ervin gains escape … 2-1 ... Ervin t.d.  leads, 3-2 … an Illini coach yells “you got to get meaner.” ….  Illini coach Jim Heffernan lets official know that stalling needs to be called both ways … Presley has a warning (1) called …

2nd Period: Ervin down and escapes, 4-2 … and gains t.d.,  6-2 …  Ervin ties up leg and rides …

3rd Period: Presley neutral … shoots for single but stalemate … Ervin gets ankle and another t.d. (3) 8-2

Illini coaches yell to cut him (and get another takedown) … Ervin cuts Presley and another t.d. (4)   10-3 …  escape Presley, 10-4 Ervin all but has barrel roll but Presley blocks …  Ervin needs major dec. does  not get it …   


* 157 - Matt Nora (Illini) dec. Trey Stavrum, 8-1  …   Illinois leads first lead at 12-10 

1st Period: Scramble with Nora finally gaining first takedown … 2-0 …

2nd Period: Stavrum down … Nora goes for inside cradle ... Stavrum stands and breaks hold … Nora still riding … Nora leads, 2-0 

3rd period:  Nora down … escapes, 3-0 … Nora shoots on edge of mat but Trey counters but cannot score himself … Nora gains far leg for t.d.,  5-0 …  Trey has escape, 5-1  another Nora t.d. , 7-1 

* 165 - No.7 Conrad Polz (Illini) dec. Josh Condon, 5-4 …  Illini leads, 15-10

First Period:  Polz gains far leg (2-0) and goes for cradle but cannot gain back points with 1 minute to go …   Josh does good job in breaking cradle …. escape Condon, 2-1 …  Polz in tight on single leg and gains t.d., 4-1 …  escape Condon, 4-2 … 

2nd Period:  Condon down … escape, trails 4-3 … Polz in tight again on double, Condon counters well on edge of mat …. back to center …

3rd Period: Polz down … leads 4-3 … Polz all but escapes, but Condon has ankle and regains top position … Polz escapes, but Condon still aggressive … Polz leads, 5-3 …   1 minute remaining …  Condon pushes he action … warning (1) polz .  warning (2) Polz …  Polz wins 5-4 ….


* 174 - John Lampe (UTC) vs.  No.8  Jordan Blanton

1st Period:  Blanton takedown, 2-0  … 2-pt NF … 4-0

2nd Period: Blanton down …. Reverse to cradle and quick fall, 3:15 ..

No.8 Jordan Blanton pinned John Lampe, 3:15    Illinois leads 21-10   has won five straight matches

* 184 - No.19 Tony Dallago (Illini) tech. fall Robert Prigmore, 21-6  …  Illinois leads 26-10

1st Period: Dallago takedown to 2-pt near fall, 4-0 …  Dallago has cradle again but no points ..

Dallago cuts Prigmore followed by takedown and repeats that for 8-2 lead …

2nd Period:  Prigmore defers … Dallago down … Prigmore goes for quick back exposure, but Dallago switches and gains 2-pt NF himself, 12-2 …  Prigmore escapes, 12-3 … Dallago gains far ankle and another t.d. late, 14-3 …

3rd Period: Prigmore down … Dallago ties up hands and works for tilt … but nothing.  Prig escapes, but Dallago gains ankle again … t.d.  16-4 … takedown and escape exercise for 20-6 lead … plus riding time.

* 197 – Jeff Koepke (Illini) dec. John Shrader, 7-2 … Illinois wins 29-10

1st Period:  Shrader shoots has ankle but Koepke kicks out ... Shrader back in, but stalemate ..

Shrader shoots in again ...but Koepke gets takedown … 2-0

2nd Period: Gonzalez down … Shrader riding well early … flattens him out … ties the legs ….  Stalemate … Koepke escapes, 3-0 …. Shrader shoots but Gonzales counters for t.d.   5-0 …

3rd Period: Shrader down … escape, 5-1 … Koepke  tries duck under from tie up, but blocked ... back on their feet … Koepke has ankle and takedown .. 7-1   escape Shrader, 7-2


contact B.B. Branton at

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