LANCASTER, Pa. – The final month of the regular season begins on Saturday when Franklin & Marshall's wrestling team travels to Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) foe Drexel for a 4:00 p.m. contest.
Saturday, Feb. 6 – at Drexel | Daskalakis Athletic Center | 4:00 PM
A Look at Drexel: The Dragons currently hold a 5-7, 2-3 EIWA record, not including a matchup with Sacred Heart on Friday night. Drexel's key win on the season was a 21-20 thriller over No. 20 Northwestern on Nov. 29 at the Grapple in the Garden. However, the Dragons have struggled of late with losses in four of its previous five contests.
The all-time series dates back to 1979, with the Dragons holding a 14-2 lead. The school's squared off last season on Feb. 7 in Lancaster, with Drexel coming away with a 30-6 victory. Charles Kerkesner (TB-1 6-5) at 197 and Robbie King (Dec. 6-1) at 157 earned the Diplomats' points on the evening.
Last Time Out: Despite a strong start that saw F&M earn two straight decisions, the Diplomats fell to Princeton by a 35-6 score on Saturday afternoon on the road. The EIWA tilt dropped F&M to 3-11, 0-7 EIWA on the year, while the Tigers improved to 3-5, 2-2 EIWA.
With the dual starting off at 133, Scott Stevens put together a solid performance with an 8-2 decision. The most highly anticipated matchup of the bout came at 141 with No. 14 Rick Durso taking on No. 29 Jordan Laster of Princeton. Durso came into action with a 2-0 record over Laster, although both were close decisions.
Neither grappler managed to put points on the board in the first. Durso chose bottom to start the second and followed with an escape to enter the final frame with a 1-0 advantage. Laster chose the bottom as well to begin the third, however, for the second straight week Durso managed to ride out his opponent and hang on for the win.
F&M's 6-0 lead was short lived as the Tigers secured each of the final eight matchups. Antonio Pelusi battled for the Diplomats at 285, falling by a narrow 5-4 score with a point from riding time being the decider.
Shattering the Record: With his win on Saturday, Durso improved to 29-8 on the season, and continues to distance himself from the school's previous all-time wins record, held by Craig Blackman's '81 with a career mark of 117-31-2. A three-time NCAA qualifier and 2014 All-American, Durso now holds a 135-26 overall record.
Win Streak: Durso has now won eight straight matchups and 16 of his previous 18. He also holds a notable 14-2 mark against EIWA opponents.
Moving up the Chart: Durso has also accumulated five pins during his senior campaign and now sits tied for sixth on the program's all-time list with 23 in his career. Justin Herbert '09 holds the record with 35.
Double-Digit Win Totals: In addition to Durso's impressive record, several other Diplomats have hit the double-digit win plateau in 2015-16. Pelusi sits at 20-15, followed by Anthony Mancini (14-13) and Paddy Quinlan (11-12).
To view complete team statistics, click here.
Where Durso Stacks up at 141
No. 8 – Amateur Wrestling News (AWN)
No. 11 – Wrestlingreport.com
No. 12 – InterMat Wrestling
No. 11 – FLO Wrestling
No. 16 – The Open Mat (TOM)