Peppelman and Jantzen posted bonus points for the Crimson as it opened its home slate Saturday against Army (OAC).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The No. 25 Harvard wrestling team battled back from a 15-0 deficit and trailed by just one point as the heavyweights took to the mat, but could not complete its comeback as a pin by Army's Daniel Mills gave the Black Knights a 24-17 victory over the Crimson Saturday at the Malkin Athletic Center.
Injury and illness forced the Crimson (4-5, 1-3 EIWA) to forfeit 125 lbs. and 133 lbs., and after Patrick Hogan dropped a 6-2 decision to Casey smith at 141 lbs. the Crimson trailed by 15 points. No. 8 Corey Jantzen turned things around, however, with an 11-0 major decision over Ryan Bilyeau to put Harvard on the board. Jantzen's victory improved him to 7-2 on the year, and was his fourth win with bonus points.
No. 4 Walter Peppelman kept things going with a major decision of his own, posting a 12-0 shutout over Jimmy Rafferty at 157 lbs. Peppelman is 17-3 overall and a perfect 9-0 in duals this season, with 14 of his victories earning bonus points.
Army (6-5, 3-1 EIWA) took an 8-2 decision at 165 lbs. to move the score to 18-8, but the Crimson won the next three bouts to pull within one, 18-17. Josh Popple started the comeback with a 9-7 decision over Eric Gobin at 174 lbs., marking his fifth win in six matches. 184-pounder Cameron Croy followed up with an 8-2 decision over Michael Gorman, and 197-pounder James Fox pulled off a thrilling 1-0 decision over Derek Stanley to cap off the run. Fox, who wrestled through injury to post his 18th victory of the season, earned an escape point in the second period and made it hold up with excellent defense in the third.
Harvard was unable to steal the match, however, as Mills pinned David Ng to pull out the 24-17 win for the Black Knights.
The Crimson will return to action Saturday, Feb. 4 with a pair of matches at the MAC. Harvard will first host Penn at 10 a.m. before taking on Princeton at 2 p.m.
Army 24, No. 25 Harvard 17
125 – Scott Filbert (Army) win by forfeit, 6-0
133 – Jordan Thome (Army) win by forfeit, 12-0
141 – Casey Smith (Army) dec. Patrick Hogan (Harv), 6-2, 15-0
149 – No. 8 Cory Jantzen (Harv) major dec. Ryan Bilyeu (Army), 11-0, 15-4
157 – No. 4 Walter Peppelman (HAR) major dec. Jimmy Rafferty (Army), 12-0, 15-8
165 – Cole Gracey (Army) dec. Ian Roy (Harv), 8-2, 18-8
174 – Josh Popple (Harv) dec. Eric Gobin (Army), 9-7, 18-11
184 – Cameron Croy (Harv) dec. Michael Gorman (Army), 8-2, 18-14
197 – James Fox (Harv) dec. Derek Stanley (Army), 1-0, 18-17
HWT – Daniel Mills (Army) fall David Ng (Harv), 0:56, 24-17