In a nail-biter — Bucs win
The outcome of the wrestling meet between USC and Blue Earth Area wasn’t decided until the fourth overtime period of the final match.
Josh Johnson’s escape gave him a 3-2 victory over ninth-ranked Tony Willette and locked up a 32-26 victory for the host Buccaneers.
“We knew that USC would be tough, they always come ready to wrestle,” comments Bucs coach Randy Wirtjes. “We knew it would be close, we had a goal to not give up any pins and we were able to accomplish that goal.”
A major decision coupled with two decisions had staked USC to a 10-0 lead after the first three matches.
Travis Hagedorn took Dylan Herman, who is ranked No. 4 at 112 pounds, to overtime before Herman was able to get a take down in the first overtime period to win the match 6-4.
Mike Ankeny battled back from a 3-2 first period deficit to claim a 9-3 win. Jake Wirtjes, ranked No. 5 at 125 in Class A, was awarded a forfeit at 130 pounds to cut the Rebels lead to 10-9.
Three straight wins by the Rebels increased their lead to 22-9. USC picked up decisions at 135 and 140 pounds. Dustin Dylla, ranked No. 5 at 140 in Class A, picked up a forfeit at 145 pounds to give USC its 13-point margin.
The chess match had already begun and the Buccaneers had moved their remaining wrestlers up one weight to get the match-ups they wanted.
Dylan Johnsrud, wrestling at 152 pounds, pinned his opponent in 3:43 to cut the Rebel lead to 22-15.
Joe Franta picked up five points for the Bucs with a 19-4 technical fall.
BEA claimed its first lead of the night following a pin by Carter Hanson at 171 pounds. Carter, who is ranked No. 6 at 160 pounds in Class A, needed just 12 seconds to put his opponent’s back to the mat and give the Bucs a 26-22 lead.
A major decision by the Rebels at 189 pounds knotted the score at 26-26.
Kysten Zierke, giving up about 20 pounds, defeated his opponent at 215 pounds by a 10-4 margin. The win gave the Bucs a 29-26 lead with one match to go.
A win by decision by the Rebels would have tied the score and the match would have been determined by criteria. In that case the Rebels would have the victory because they would have won eight matches to the Bucs’ six matches.
Johnson and Willette wrestled a scoreless first period. Johnson took a 1-0 lead with a second period escape. Willette evened the score in the third period with an escape to send the match into overtime.
Neither wrestler could score a take-down in the first period of overtime to claim a ‘sudden death’ victory. Now the match would go to two 30-second periods, with each wrestler having a chance to start in the down position.
Both Johnson and Willette were able to score escapes and the score was 2-2 after three overtime periods.
The match now went back to a ‘sudden death,’ or if you prefer, a ‘sudden victory’ situation.
The clock was set at 30 seconds and Johnson started in the down position. Willette was able to ride him out of bounds to take seven seconds off of the clock.
The wrestlers returned to the center of the mat with Johnson still in the down position. This time Johnson was able to gain the escape and give the Bucs the 32-26 victory over their cross-county rival.
“The guys did what they had to do and we put it in the hands of Josh,” explains Wirtjes. “Josh wrestled well and came through with a big win.”
BEA 32, USC 26
103: Jay Stoloch (USC) maj. dec. Alec Huber, 14-4.
112: Jake Gonsalez (USC) dec. Jesse Alleven, 6-4.
119: Dylan Herman (USC) dec, Travis Hagedorn, 6-4 OT.
125: Mike Ankeny (BEA) dec. Derek Herman, 9-3.
130: Jake Wirtjes (BEA) wins by forfeit.
135: Ben Johnson (USC) dec. Isaac Vasquez, 7-0.
140: Seth Olson (USC) dec. Jacob Johnson, 4-1.
145: Dustin Dylla (USC) wins by forfeit.
152: Dylan Johnsrud (BEA) pinned Logan Sonnnek, 3:43.
160: Joe Franta (BEA) tech. fall Skylar Peterson, 19-4.
171: Carter Hanson (BEA) pinned Travis Brown, 0:12.
189: Brady Thisius (USC) maj. dec. Devon Jahnke, 12-4.
215: Kysten Zierke (BEA) dec. Lucas George, 10-4.
285: Josh Johnson (BEA) dec. Tony Willette, 3-2 OT.