Lofthouse Helps No. 1 Iowa Past No. 7 Illinois

Dec. 2, 2011

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The first of three bouts between nationally ranked wrestlers from the University of Iowa and Illinois on Friday on Mediacom Mat inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena was at 174 pounds.

Although technically the match went the full seven minutes, to victorious Hawkeye sophomore Ethen Lofthouse, his 6-1 upset of No. 3 Jordan Blanton lasted about 5:40.

“I felt him look up at the score clock with about 1:20 left and he was done,” said Lofthouse, who is rated No. 6. “There was nothing left in him.”

Lofthouse used two takedowns, an escape and 2-minutes 41-seconds of riding time to hand Blanton his first loss in 11 matches. Lofthouse improves to 8-1.

“It was a good win,” Lofthouse said. “There are still a lot of things to work on. I got the legs twice and I scored both times; there was no reason to take more attempts.”

Lofthouse avoided some early takedown attempts by Blanton during the first three minutes. After a scoreless first period, Lofthouse took down and escaped in three seconds. He earned his first takedown with 57 seconds left in the period to lead 3-0 heading into the final two minutes.

“I expected to win,” Lofthouse said. “I knew he was a good opponent. I just got ready like I do every other match and I came out and scored points.”

Three more to be exact in the final two minutes.

UI head coach Tom Brands graded his team’s effort a D-minus and he wasn’t giving an easy A to Lofthouse for his performance, either.

“If I can nitpick, I’ll look at Ethen Lofthouse and say you can’t let guys in on your legs,” Brands said. “I think he dodged two bullets. (Illinois) is going to tell their guy if you finish here, it’s a different match.”

The teams split the other two matchups that featured two rated wrestlers. Illinois freshman Jesse Delgado (rated ninth) overcame a 6-2 deficit to upset top-rated Matt McDonough, 11-7 in overtime, at 125; No. 3 Tony Ramos from Iowa dominated No. 2 B.J.Futrell, 13-5, at 133.

Iowa won the dual, 20-13, and is now unbeaten in 81 consecutive dual meets. The Hawkeyes (4-0) return to action Sunday against Iowa State in Ames, with a 2 p.m. (CT) start.