No. 6 Upper Iowa Takes Down Dragon Wrestlers, 28-6
MOORHEAD, Minn. — The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team came up short against No. 6-ranked Upper Iowa in a dual on Saturday, dropping a 28-6 decision at Alex Nemzek Hall in Moorhead, Minn.
The Dragons fell to 8-5 overall and 3-3 in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference with the loss, while Upper Iowa improved to 9-3 overall and 5-1 in the league.
Earning wins for MSUM were junior Angel Vega at 141 pounds and sophomore Gerad Fugleberg at 285 pounds. While Upper Iowa didn’t record a pin on the day, the Peacocks managed to win eight of the 10 matches wrestled, including three by major decision.
“They were much more aggressive than we were,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said. “Some of our guys were trying to keep scores close instead of going out there and trying to win. We’ve got to wrestle a lot harder than that.”
Upper Iowa got on the board at 4-0 first with a 13-3 major decision win by Chris Paulus over Dragon freshman Mitch Dunlap at 125 pounds.
In a thrilling match at 133 pounds, Dragon sophomore Philippe Walker battled tough against the No. 2-ranked wrestler in Division II, Trevor Franklin. Walker recorded an escape to cut the lead to 4-3 in the third period, but came up just short in a 5-3 loss to Franklin.
“Philippe Walker wrestled well,” Nelson said. “Trevor Franklin is a returning national champion at 133 pounds. Philippe needs to be aggressive. He waited until the end to start attacking and he needs to try to score early.”
Vega got the Dragons on the board with a solid 10-6 win at 141 pounds. The junior — who now leads the team with 21 wins — trailed 6-5 at one point but battled back with a strong third period to earn the win, which brought MSUM within 7-3 in the dual.
“Angel started off slow and then he finished strong,” Nelson said. “He dug deep and came back and got the win for us.”
After Vega’s win, Upper Iowa won the next six matches to build an insurmountable 28-3 lead.
Upper Iowa regained the momentum at 149 as Jordan Rinken beat MSUM junior Casey Williams in a 10-2 major decision to push the Peacocks’ lead to 11-3 in the dual. The Peacocks extended their lead to 14-3 after Bryce Lumzy beat MSUM senior Jacob Bennett, 8-1 at 157 pounds.
The lead grew to 17-3 when Wade Gobin edged Dragon senior Kerron Williams, 3-2 at 165 pounds. At 174, Upper Iowa’s Blake Sorensen downed Jesse Puncochar in a major decision, 17-7 to make the score 21-3.
At 184 pounds, MSUM redshirt freshman Lucas Moderow battled Upper Iowa’s Brock Gobin to a 1-1 tie through regulation, but Gobin scored two points in overtime to earn the 3-1 sudden-victory decision.
Upper Iowa then added a win at 197 pounds, as Carl Broghammer, the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the nation at 197 pounds, beat MSUM junior Matt Lewellen by a 14-1 major decision to make the score 28-3.
For the second straight match, Fugleberg ended the match on a positive note for MSUM as he earned a 5-1 win over Jeremy Brazil to give the Dragons their final three points. Fugleberg is now 15-12 on the year.
“Gerad did a good job,” Nelson said. “He was patient and tough in the top position.”
The Dragons are at neighboring rival Concordia-Moorhead on Tuesday (7 p.m. start) for their lone match of next week. Their next NSIC dual is Feb. 13 at Augustana.
“We’ve got to regroup,” Nelson said. “We don’t need to get down on ourselves. We need to get back up and go into the Concordia match with some fight.”
Upper Iowa 28, MSU-Moorhead 6
125-Chris Paulus (UI) maj. dec. Mitch Dunlap (MSUM), 13-3
133-Trevor Franklin (UI) dec. Philippe Walker (MSUM), 5-3
141-Angel Vega (MSUM) dec. Matt Paulus (UIU), 10-6
149-Jordan Rinken (UI) maj. dec. Casey Williams (MSUM), 10-2
157-Bryce Lumzy (UI) dec. Jacob Bennett (MSUM), 8-1
165-Wade Gobin (UI) dec. Kerron Williams (MSUM), 3-2
174-Blake Sorensen (UI) maj. dec. Jesse Puncochar (MSUM), 17-7
184-Brock Gobin (UI) dec. Lucas Moderow (MSUM), 3-1, OT
197-Carl Broghammer (UI) maj. dec. Matt Lewellen (MSUM), 14-1
285-Gerad Fugleberg (MSUM) vs. Jeremy Brazil (UI), 5-1