BUFFALO, NY - The Buffalo wrestling team won five of the first six matches against Mid-American Conference rival Kent State Sunday afternoon in Alumni Arena, but four straight bonus-point wins allowed the Flashes come back for a 22-19 win. The Bulls held a 19-3 lead in the dual through the first six matches. The loss drops Buffalo to 1-9 and 1-3 in the MAC. Kent State moves to 7-4 and 3-1 in conference duals.
The turning point in the match came at 174 pounds, when pre-match favorite John-Martin Cannon re-injured his knee early in the first period and was forced to take an injury forfeit. That gave Kent State the critical bonus points it would need to make the comeback.
After the match started with a forfeit to Max Soria, the Bulls lost the 133 pound bout before reeling off four straight wins from 141 to 165. Erik Galloway continues to flourish in his new weight class, earning a 5-4 win over Luke Kern. With the bout all tied at four heading into the third period, Galloway earned a quick escape and held on for a 5-4 win.
He was followed by Blake Roulo, who also continues to impress in the later stages of the season. He recorded a 15-6 major decision over Andrew Candiello thanks to five takedowns, three back points, an escape and riding time. That win gave Buffalo a 13-3 lead overall in the dual.
His win was followed by a gutty defensive performance by Wally Maziarz at 157. After a scoreless first period, Maziarz and his opponent, Tommy Sasfy, rode each other out through the next two periods to send the match into overtime. Wally was able to end it with a sudden-victory takedown to claim a 2-0 win.
Mark Lewandowski followed with a 2-0 win of his own at 165. He got out from under Caleb Marsh for a second period escape, and then was able to keep him down in the third period to add riding time for the win.
Following Cannon's injury default, Kent State moved within 10, 19-9, going into the final three matches. Casey Newburg earned a 12-3 major decision over Dominic Montesanti, and 2011 national champion and number-one ranked Dustin Kilgore earned a win by fall in under a minute to tie the match at 19 going into heavyweight. Jedd Mason faced Kent State's Keith Witt, who shut him out 6-0 to seal the comeback win.
"When healthy, John-Martin would go out there and win that match for our team, but he isn't and that's unfortunate," head coach Jim Beichner said. "This is the way the whole season has gone, we have injuries from 174 through heavyweight now but we were still at 19-19 with all that adversity. It wasn't pretty, but our guys gave us a chance to win and they deserve some credit."
The team will have just under two weeks to prepare for the conference regular season finale. Buffalo hosts Northern Illinois on Feb. 16. It will be senior day for the team, as it sends off seniors John-Martin Cannon, Mark Lewandowski, and Jedd Mason. The dual is scheduled for 1 pm.
Kent State 22, Buffalo 19
125: Max Soria wins by forfeit; 6-0
133: Mack McGuire dec. Justin Farmer, 8-2; 6-3
141: Erik Galloway dec. Luke Kern, 5-4; 9-3
149: Blake Roulo maj. dec. Andy Candiello, 15-6; 13-3
157: Wally Maziarz dec. Tommy Sasfy, 2-0 SV; 16-3
165: Mark Lewandowski dec. Caleb Marsh, 2-0; 19-3
174: Sam Wheeler inj. def. John-Martin Cannon; 19-9
184: Casey Newburg maj. dec. Dominic Montesanti, 12-3; 19-13
197: Dustin Kilgore FALL Jeff Palmeri, 0:45; 19-19
HWT: Keith Witt dec. Jedd Mason, 6-0; 19-22