Panthers Stunned by WVU Comeback

For the sixth season in a row, West Virginia bested Pitt in the wrestling version of the Backyard Brawl, but it took a monumental rally to do so.

Trailing 16-7, and with just three bouts remaining, West Virginia rallied for 11 points to stun the Panthers by the score of 18-16 at Pitt on Friday night.

West Virginia native Chance Litton began the comeback with a 3-0 decision over Kyle Deliere. Although that didn't get West Virginia any additional points past the standard three for a win, it did stop a string of three consecutive Panther victories and pave the way for Jared Villers at 197 pounds.

As he has for most of the season, Villers put forth a dominating effort, doing everything but recording a pin for the Mountaineers. His 17-0 technical fall gave West Virginia five big points and closed the gap to 16-15 going into the heavyweight bout, the final of the evening.

In that match-deciding contest, junior Dustin Rogers upset No. 21-ranked Zach Schaffer in overtime to give the the Mountaineers the league win. Rogers took it right down to the final seconds, as he trailed 3-2 with less than 20 seconds to go before securing a takedown for a momentary 4-3 lead. A Schaffer escape sent the bout into the one-minute sudden victory period, and again Rogers showed a flair for the dramatic. With just nine seconds remaining, Rogers scored another takedown, which immediately ended the bout and gave the Mountaineers the match win.

The Mountaineers return to action next Friday, Feb. 9, when they host Ohio in their last non-conference dual of the season. Wrestling at the WVU Coliseum gets underway at 8 p.m.

WVU- 18, Pitt- 16
125: Brad Gentzle (UP) MAJOR Scott Stuart (WVU), 16-5
133: No. 13 Drew Headlee (UP) DEC Mark Anderson (WVU), 4-2
141: No. 7 Brandon Rader (WVU) DEC Joe Ciampoli (UP), 8-6
149: David Jaurgui (WVU) MAJOR Mark Generalovich (UP), 19-7
157: No. 8 Matt Kocher (UP) DEC Zac Fryling (WVU), 3-2 (SV3)
165: Sean Richmond (UP) DEC Eric Connolly (WVU), 7-4
174: No. 3 Keith Gavin (UP) DEC No. 18 Kurt Brenner (174), 9-4
184: Chance Litton (WVU) DEC Kyle Deliere (UP), 3-0
197: Jared Villers (WVU) TECH Mike Heist (UP), 17-0 (5:57)
HWT: Dustin Rogers (WVU) DEC Zach Schaeffer (UP), 6-4 SV

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