Dec. 18, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Illinois wrestling team started their home schedule with a victory as they took down UT-Chattanooga 30-6 to improve to 7-1 on the season. Eight of the ten Illini won their matches, including Jesse Delgado, Daryl Thomas, Eric Terrazas, Guy Kirby, Jackson Morse, Jordan Blanton, Tony Dallago and Mario Gonzalez. Delgado recorded a technical fall and Dallago logged a pin in their respective matches to help boost the Orange and Blue over the Mocs at Huff Hall.
"I thought the guys looked really lethargic," head coach Jim Heffernan said. "They seemed tired and not mentally fresh. However, it was good to be home after a long hard week and it gave a chance for our home crowd to see Delgado and Dallago wrestle. I think Kirby's victory was the highlight of the dual. He did a great job."
The dual started at 125 as Delgado won his 12th match this season as he defeated Chattanooga's Cole Gallagher in a 21-5 technical fall. The victory marked Delgado's eighth technical fall this season and put the Illini up early 5-0. Futrell dropped just his second dual of the season as he lost the 8-2 decision to Nick Soto of Chattanooga, however at 141, Thomas recorded an 11-10 decision to push the Illini's score to 8-3.
At 149, Terrazas moved past Kelly Felix with a 9-3 decision to record his sixth consecutive dual match victory and 12th this season. Kirby's win at 157 was the most impressive victory of the day, as the redshirt-freshman recorded a 3-1 decision over Chattanooga's Daniel Waddell to increase Illinois' score to 14-3.
"Kirby did a great job for us today," Heffernan said. "Under the circumstances, he performed very well. He's the kind of guy who works hard everyday and does everything we've asked of him. It's nice for Kirby to show the guys on the team that if he gets the opportunity to do something in a dual, he will perform."
After moving up a weight because of the injured Conrad Polz, Morse moved to 5-2 on the season as he defeated Brandon Wright with an 11-4 decision while Blanton added to the Illini score with his 19-6 major decision. These two wins bumped the Orange and Blue's team score to 21-3 with three weight classes remaining.
Dallago and Gonzalez won both of their matches as Dallago notched his fourth pin of the season to give the Illini six additional points while Gonzalez edged Nikolas Brown of Chattanooga in a 4-3 decision to win his ninth match of the season. Pat Walker dropped his match 6-3, however the Illini took home the 30-6 victory.
The Fighting Illini will take the next week off for the holidays before competing at the 49th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Dec. 29-30 at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill. The finals of the tournament will be streamed on the Big Ten Network.
Illinois 30, UT-Chattanooga 6
125 - #6 Jesse Delgado tech fall Cole Gallagher 21-5
133 - Blake Thomas dec. #4 B.J. Futrell 8-2
141 - Daryl Thomas dec. Shawn Greevy 11-10
149 - #6 Eric Terrazas dec. Kelly Felix 9-3
157 - Guy Kirby dec. Daniel Waddell 3-1
165 - Jackson Morse dec. Brandon Wright 11-4
174 - #9 Jordan Blanton major dec. Levi Clemons 19-6
184 - Tony Dallago pinned Robert Prigmore 1:37
197 - #13 Mario Gonzalez dec. Nikolas Brown 4-3
285 - Kevin Malone dec. Pat Walker 6-3