No. 17 Indiana traveled to West Lafayette on Sunday to take on in-state rival Purdue in the series’ 100th all-time meeting. In recent history, the Boilermakers have owned the rivalry; they have won the last 12 meetings, with Indiana’s last win coming Feb. 14, 2010, in Indianapolis. Head coach Angel Escobedo’s Hoosiers flipped those results with their 17-16 victory over the Boilermakers.
The historic rivalry kicked off in favor of the Boilermakers as they made quick work of four Hoosier grapplers to take a 13-4 lead heading into intermission. Indiana’s chances looked grim heading into the second half, but the Hoosiers have leaned on the strength of their upper weights all year, and on Sunday night it was no different.
Purdue did not surrender its lead for the whole dual meet until the final match of the evening. Indiana senior heavyweight No. 24 Jacob Bullock dug deep and delivered a walk-off, 2-0 decision for the Hoosiers.
Although the match took place in West Lafayette, the crowd was filled with Hoosier faithful who erupted in applause at the sight of Bullock’s victory.
Aiding Bullock, 149 lb. redshirt senior Graham Rooks and 174 lb. redshirt junior DJ Washington delivered two huge bonus point wins that propelled the Hoosiers to victory. Both Rooks and Washington delivered hard-nosed major decisions against their Boilermaker foes.
In the most electric match of the night, Washington ran down his Boilermaker opponent late in the third period to secure the major decision. Adding to the electricity, Washington displayed his prowess in upper-body positions as he launched his Purdue opponent in a huge throw.
Another thrilling victory occurred at 165 lbs. with redshirt junior Nick South, who always has a flair for the dramatic, he delivered a workman-like 3-1 decision in sudden victory. South scored a big mat return takedown with about a minute to go in overtime to ignite the Indiana bench.
At 197 lbs. true freshman Gabe Sollars took the mat in his collegiate debut. Sollars took on fellow Indiana state champion Hayden Filipovich of Purdue in a highly anticipated matchup. Sollars took out Filipovich via a 4-0 decision and presented Hoosier fans a glimpse into the future of his career in Bloomington.
Although they did not add points to the team score, 125 lb. junior Jacob Moran and 157 lb. junior Derek Gilcher both faced two top six opponents and did not surrender bonus points. Had Moran or Gilcher given up a bonus point victory to Purdue the Boilermakers would have come away with the victory.