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Honeycutt Hammers His Way into NCAA SemiFinals

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Honeycutt Hammers His Way into NCAA SemiFinals

Postby Allen Brown » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:38 pm

March 16, 2012


ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Senior Chris Honeycutt, seeded second, joined the legion of two-time All-Americans at Edinboro with a 9-4 decision over 10th-seeded Sonny Yohn (28-5) of Minnesota in Friday morning’s 197 lb. quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Wrestling National Championships at the Scottrade Center. The Fighting Scots ended the third session in 12th place.

Honeycutt, wrestling in Edinboro’s camouflage singlets, took control of a close match in the final minute with a pair of takedowns. The match was tied at 3-3 going into the third period. With Honeycutt in the down position, Yohn was called for locked hands to give Honeycutt a 4-3 lead with 1:04 remaining. On the restart Honeycutt escaped immediately for a 5-3 lead. He registered his second takedown of the match, the first coming in the first period, for a 7-3 lead with 47 seconds left. Yohn would escape, but Honeycutt added an insurance takedown with 12 seconds remaining for the final score.

Afterwards, Honeycutt commented on ESPNU in regards to his two double-leg takedowns, “I felt they were there all the time. After I shot the first time I saw you had to be careful with him. He’s a good freestyle wrestler. I was cautious when I shot on him. I felt I ended the match well.”

The victory gives Honeycutt a 39-1 record, and with a 129-21 career record he moves into sole possession of seventh place in career wins. He becomes just the 14th Edinboro wrestler with two-or-more All-American certificates. A year ago he finished fifth at 184 lbs.

Honeycutt will face a familiar foe in this evening’s semifinal in EWL rival Matt Wilps of Pittsburgh. The two have met four times this year, with Honeycutt prevailing 7-2 and 11-5 before Wills prevailed 6-2 two weeks ago in the EWL finals.

Honeycutt will be joined this evening by redshirt freshmen A.J. Schopp and Mitchell Port at 133 and 141 lbs., respectively. The two need a win to earn All-American honors after posting comeback wins in the consolation bracket.

133 lbs. – A.J. Schopp (#7 seed) (39-5)
3rd Consolation Round – won by fall over Nick Soto, Chattanooga – 2:08
Schopp picked up his 19th pin of the year and second in the first period at Nationals to remain alive. He opened the scoring with a takedown at the 2:12 mark, then worked Soto for three near-fall points at 1:04. Twelve seconds later he had the pin, leaving him one shy of the school record held by Joey Fendone and Deonte Penn.

4th Consolation Round – won by dec. over Jordan Thome, Army – 7-5
In an incredible finish, the redshirt freshman overcame a 4-0 deficit heading into the third period to win at the buzzer. Thome used a first period takedown and two near-fall points in the second for the 4-0 lead. Schopp chose top to begin the third period, and would pick up a point on the second stalling warning against Thome with 46 seconds left. He tied the match at 4-4 with three near-fall points with 13 seconds to go, but Thome owned riding time. Schopp tilted the Cadet again for three near-fall points at the buzzer.

141 lbs. – Mitchell Port (30-9)
3rd Consolation Round – won by tech. fall over Luke Goetti, Iowa State – 17-2 (7:00)
Port used a big first period to move on in the consolation rounds, even though it was Goetti opened the scoring with a takedown just 11 seconds into the match. Port reversed Goetti at 1:26, and then tilted him three times for eight near-fall points to take a 10-2 lead after one period. Port rode out Goetti in the second period while adding a point for stalling. In the third Port recorded his only takedown in the match at 1:18, then picked up three back points with 37 seconds to go. He had over three minutes in riding time.

4th Consolation Round – won by dec. over Justin LaValle, Old Dominion – 6-5
Point joined Honeycutt, Schopp and Habat with 30 wins his second come-from-behind win at Nationals. The redshirt freshman ultimately won on riding time. LaValle had a pair of takedowns in the first period, but Port answered with an escape and a reversal to trail 4-3. While no scoring took place in the second period, LaValle chose down and Port rode him out. In the third period Port chose down and worked for a reversal and a 5-4 lead at the 1:41 mark. LaValle tied the bout at 5-5 with 41 seconds to go. However, he was unable to wipe out Port’s riding time advantage.

149 lbs. – David Habat (#9 seed) (36-8)

3rd Consolation Round – lost by dec. to Steve Santos, Columbia – 7-0
Habat saw his first trip to Nationals come to an end with the loss to Santos, who he had defeated 4-1 early in the year at the Michigan State Open. Santos took a 5-0 lead after one period with a takedown and three near-fall points. He would add an escape in the second and a point for riding time. Habat’s redshirt freshman season ends at 36-8.

184 lbs. – Vic Avery (24-15)

3rd Consolation Round – lost by maj. dec. to Grant Gambrall, Iowa – 13-4
The true freshman saw his first trip to Nationals end with a 1-2 record as he lost to Gambrall. The Hawkeye led 2-1 after one period, but he used an escape and takedown for a 5-1 lead after two and added three takedowns in the final period.
Allen Brown


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