Dragon Wrestlers Dominate Minot State, 41-6, for 2nd Straight Dual Win
MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team won eight classes – including three by fall – on its way to a dominating 41-6 win over Minot State in a Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference dual Thursday night in Minot, N.D.
The Dragons improved to 8-3 overall and 3-1 in the NSIC with the win, while Minot State fell to 1-12 overall and 0-5 in the league.
Junior Angel Vega (141 pounds), redshirt freshman Jesse Puncochar (174)and Matt Lewellen (197) both recorded pins for MSUM, while junior Casey Williams won by technical fall at 141. The Dragons also benefitted by two forfeits.
“The guys were a lot more aggressive and took a lot more shots,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said.
“The work ethic in practice is paying off,” MSUM assistant coach Geoff Martin said. “The people putting in extra time, extra workouts and staying after practice are seeing the results they want to see. There were a lot of weights where we wrestled very hard and very tough.”
The Dragons led 6-0 without setting foot on the mat, as Mitch Dunlap won by forfeit at 125 pounds. The lead grew to 9-0 when Dragon sophomore Philippe Walker improved his record to 16-7 with a 9-3 win over Minot’s Josh Douglas at 133 pounds.
Vega improved to 19-9 on the season with a pin of Minot’s Matt Ruby in 6:30 at 141 pounds to give the Dragons a 15-0 lead.
At 149 pounds, Casey Williams continued his solid season with a 16-1 technical fall win over Minot’s Donovan Williams.
“Philippe Walker and Casey Williams continue to wrestle well,” Nelson said. “Angel bounced back from Wednesday and looked a lot better.”
Minot State got on the board with a decision win at 157 to climb within 20-3, but MSUM senior Kerron Williams quickly turned the momentum back the Dragons’ way with a hard-fought 7-6 decision win at 165 over Minot’s Eric O’Neill.
At 174, Puncochar improved to 13-4 with a pin of Minot’s Devon Flores in 1:37.
“Wednesday night, he didn’t wrestle his best,” Nelson said. “Tonight he had the fire and got a pin again. He’s been wrestling great.”
Another forfeit at 184 gave the Dragons a commanding 35-3 lead. Lewellen pushed his season mark to 13-7 with a pin of Minot State’s Joe Johnson in just 2:01 to round out the Dragons’ score.
“He’s been wrestling well there at 197,” Nelson said.
The Dragons return home next week for a pair of duals against nationally-ranked foes, starting on Thursday, Jan. 31 against No. 13-ranked Minnesota State, Mankato. MSUM will then host No. 6-ranked Upper Iowa on Feb. 2.
MSU-Moorhead 41, Minot State 6
125 – Mitch Dunlap (MSUM) won by forfeit
133 – Philippe Walker (MSUM) dec. Josh Douglas (Minot), 9-3
141 – Angel Vega (MSUM) pinned Matt Ruby (Minot), 6:30
149 – Casey Williams (MSUM) tech. fall Donovan Williams (Minot), 16-1
157 – Marcus Polak (Minot) dec. Mariano Portillo (MSUM), 4-2
165 – Kerron Williams (MSUM) dec. Eric O’Neill (Minot), 7-6
174 – Jesse Puncochar (MSUM) pinned Devon Flores (Minot), 1:37
184 – Lucas Moderow (MSUM) won by forfeit
197 – Matt Lewellen (MSUM) pinned Joe Johnson (Minot), 2:01
HWT – Bobby Bartz (Minot) dec. Gerad Fugleberg (MSUM), 7-2