UNIVERSITY PARK - Morgan McIntosh is only a freshman, but he came to Penn State as the top-ranked recruit in the nation at any weight by Intermat.
McIntosh needed to call on all that talent against Iowa junior Grant Gambrall Sunday afternoon in the 197-pound bout before a sellout crowd of 6,796 at Rec Hall.
The Nittany Lions held a 16-12 lead, and any kind of win by McIntosh would clinch a rare win over the Hawkeyes. McIntosh got that win, taking Gambrall down with 17 seconds left in overtime to clinch third-ranked Penn State's 22-12 win over the second-ranked Hawkeyes.
Photo for the Mirror by Mark Selders
The Lions’ Quentin?Wright controls Iowa’s Vinnie Wagner at 184 pounds.
When he got the takedown, the Penn State fans, who had been dealing with conflicting emotions in the wake of the death of Joe Paterno, erupted in celebration. It was very loud in old Rec Hall.
"That was awesome," McIntosh said. "That was the coolest feeling ever, just the noise and the atmosphere. I won't forget that moment."
"I thought that was awesome," Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said. "Morgan McIntosh is a tough dude. For Morgan to do what he did, he's just a competitor. He's not going to give anything up. He's going to fight tooth and nail until the last second."
"It's inspiring to see him go out there and wrestle seniors, juniors, fifth-year seniors," 174-pounder Ed Ruth said. "Right now, he's just a phenom to me."
It was Penn State's first win over Iowa since a 24-13 victory at Rec Hall in 2007. It was the first time Sanderson, who previously coached at Iowa State, had ever beaten the Hawkeyes
Gambrall got the opening takedown, but McIntosh tied it with a reversal and went ahead with a second-period escape. Gambrall escaped in the third to tie the score, 3-3. In overtime, they got into a scramble, and McIntosh earned the takedown out of it.
"Coach Cael always has us set to wrestle the whole match," McIntosh said. "I saw my opportunity, and I just wrestled as hard as I could to get the corner and get the last takedown. It was a really cool feeling."
With no pressure on him, PSU 285-pounder Cameron Wade earned a 4-0 win over Blake Raising to complete a seven-win bout run by the Lions.
"[McIntosh's win] took a big load off my back," Wade said. "I said to [teammate] Clay Steadman on the bench 'Thanks Morgan.' "
The Lions (8-1) found themselves in a 12-0 hole after the first three weights as Iowa (9-3) picked up two decisions and a pin.
"We had three guys rolling today and seven of them that didn't roll," said Iowa coach Tom Brands, whose team lost for the third time in the last five matches. "Those seven have got to figure it out."
Freshman Nico Megaludis battled 2010 national champion Matt McDonough (20-1) with hand-fighting and avoiding takedowns. The two went into overtime tied, 1-1, and McDonough scored the takedown with 2 seconds left in OT to win, 3-1.
"I thought Nico did a great job," Sanderson said. "He hustled and battled, and there were a lot of tough situations. McDonough is real tough in those positions they spent most of the match in, and Nico is pretty good in those positions, obviously, too. To give himself a chance to win against a national champion in a big dual, you have to take some positives out of that."
Tony Ramos' pin of Frank Martellotti in 4:20 looked like it would be huge, and Montell Marion's 7-3 win over Bryan Pearsall put the Lions in a deeper hole.
"It's tough giving up a fall like that in a tough dual like this," Sanderson said. "Everybody has to work. That's an extra win there. But it was just going to come down to these guys going out there and getting the job done. It puts a little more pressure on them, and that's the preparation we want."
Frank Molinaro stopped that run with an 11-5 win over freshman Mike Kelly at 149, but it wasn't easy. The area above Molinaro's left eyebrow was swelled from an early swat by Kelly, who later pushed Molinaro (20-0) off the mat in the second period.
"I just can't let people push me around on the mat," Molinaro said. "I'm too big and too strong to let people push me out of bounds."
Dylan Alton captured a big 5-3 win over Nick Moore at 157 with two takedowns. Offensive machine David Taylor (18-0) was expected to get bonus points against Mike Evans, but he only managed a 9-4 win.
Ruth (20-0) gave the Lions a one-point lead with a 10-1 major decision over Ethan Lofthouse, getting two stalling points and a riding time point in the final period.
"We go out there and try to work some stuff that you're used to working all the time," Ruth said, "and these guys are just sturdy and really stiff. On bottom, they're focused on not trying to give up points rather than getting out for an escape."
At 184, Quentin Wright (17-2) , who lost a shocker in last year's match, set up McIntosh to be the hero with an 8-2 win over Vinnie Wagner.
"It's satisfying," Wright said. "It's been a long time since Penn State has beaten Iowa here at Rec Hall. Just being from the area it's like 'Finally, we got over that peak.' "
125-McDonough, I, dec. Megaludis, 3-1 OT; 133-Ramos, I, pinned Martellotti, 4:20; 141-Marion, I, dec. Pearsall, 7-3; 149-Molinaro, PS, dec. Kelly, 11-5; 157-D. Alton, PS, dec. Moore, 5-3.
165-Taylor, PS, dec. Evans, 9-4; 174-Ruth, PS, maj. dec. Lofthouse, 10-1; 184-Wright, PS, dec. Wagner, 8-2; 197-McIntosh, PS, dec. Gambrall, 5-3 OT; 285-Wade, PS, dec. Raising, 4-0.
Records: Iowa (9-3). Penn State (8-1).