Cougars pick up two pins and a pair of technical falls in 27-14 win over No. 1 North Idaho

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - David Douglas graduate Ihog Odighizuwa keeps North Idahos V.J. Giulio on the mat in the closing seconds of his 7-4 win at 197 pounds on Saturday. OREGON CITY — The Clackamas Community College wrestling team took down a series of top contenders to win the Cliff Keen national duals last week. Only one problem — No. 1-ranked North Idaho College wasn’t at that tournament.

The Cougars wouldn’t have to wait long to prove themselves, though, with North Idaho coming to campus Saturday night.

“Our first two guys up are our only sophomores, and I told them that we needed a fast start and it would be important to get bonus points, and they responded,” Clackamas CC coach Josh Rhoden said.

The early point tally led the Cougars to a 27-14 team victory.

The night began with Stevan Knoblauch overcoming an early takedown at 125 pounds and building an 11-2 lead before ending his match with a pin late in the second period.

Teammate C.J. Palmer dumped his opponent at the edge of the mat and quickly finished off the fall late in the first period at 133 pounds.

The landslide continued when Robbie Rizzolino won the most lopsided bout of the night with a 21-6 technical fall at 141 pounds. He took down his opponent nine times — five in the third period alone. North Idaho’s Kit Major took a look at the clock with 0:45 to go, and Rizzolino shot in on his legs for his final takedown.

“We knew this was a big dual, so I came in wanting to score as many points as I could,” Rizzolino said. “You could tell he just wanted it to be over, but I kept grinding to the end.”

The series of lightweight victories gave Clackamas a commanding 17-0 lead in the team tally.

“We started with three convincing wins and that really set the tone,” Rhoden said.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Clackamas CC sophomore C.J. Palmer works to take North Idahos Zach Mahaney off his feet at 133 pounds on Saturday. Palmer won by fall late in the first round.

The Cougars kept up the pressure when Eleazar Deluca scored a 9-7 decision over No. 3-ranked Nico Moreno at 157 pounds. Deluca took command of the bout midway through the second period when he dodged a shot at his legs and countered for a takedown and a four-point lead.

North Idaho picked up a pair of narrow decisions in the middleweights to stay alive in the team score, but Clackamas secured the dual victory with two bouts remaining when top-ranked Adrian Salas scored a 17-2 technical fall at 184 pounds. He scored the final points with a takedown and near-fall at the buzzer.

by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: DAVID BALL - Clackamas CC's Eleazar DeLuca works to turns his opponent during a 9-7 win at 157 pounds.

The highlight of the night came at 197 pounds, where David Douglas graduate Ihog Odighizuwa brought the crowd to its feet with a 7-4 win over No. 1 V.J. Giulio.

Odighizuwa went in front midway through the second period when he wrapped up his opponent’s neck and leg, putting Giulio on a hop in the center of the met before tumbling him down for two points. Odighizuwa came out on top in a scramble at the edge of the mat just before the second round expired, collecting near-fall points that gave him a 6-2 lead into the final two minutes.

“He kept going hard, and I knew it was going to be a battle,” Odighizuwa said. “It was a battle that came down to who had the biggest gas tank.”

The pair met earlier in the season, with Odighizuwa going up 5-0 before getting caught in a cradle hold and suffering a first-round pin.

“We have been game-planning ever since then,” Rhoden said. “We figured if we could get him down, we could ride him and wear him out.”

When the buzzer sounded, Odighizuwa posed in the center circle for the home fans, while Guilio stormed off the mat and slammed one of the steel doors on his way out of the gym. The eruption drew enough attention for his coach Pat Whitcomb to leave the mat for a quick check-in.

Clackamas won six of the 10 weight classes, picking up bonus points in four of those victories.

The Cougars, ranked No. 4 in the nation, will play host to the Clackamas Open on Sunday, Jan. 19.

  • Clackamas CC 27, North Idaho 14

    125 — Stevan Knoblauch, CCC, pin 4:39

    133 — C.J. Palmer, CCC, pin 2:40

    141 — Robbie Rizzolino, CCC, 21-6 tech. fall

    149 — Jeremy Golding, NIC, 14-4 major

    157 — Eleazar DeLuca, CCC, 9-7 dec.

    165 — Tyler Mclean, NIC, 5-3 OT

    174 — Derrick Booth, NIC, 4-2 dec.

    184 — Adrian Salas, CCC, 17-2 tech. fall

    197 — Ihog Odighizuwa, CCC, 7-4 dec.

    285 — Taylor Kornoely, NIC, 13-2 major

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