Dragons Strong in 34-6 Rout of St. John’s
MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team won nine of 10 matches on its way to a 34-6 nonconference win over St .John’s in action Friday night in Moorhead, Minn.
MSUM improved to 2-2 in duals with the win while the Johnnies fell to 3-12. The Dragons earned bonus points in four of the nine matches.
“We wrestled great,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said. “The team came out and wrestled aggressive and was on the attack. Shane Novak started us off with a technical fall at 125 pounds and it kept going from there.”
Novak was in total control at 125, building an 11-1 lead after one period and finishing an 18-2 technical fall win in the third period to put the Dragons up 5-0 in the dual.
Sophomore Blake Bosch improved his record to 12-6 on the season with a 2-0 win over St. John’s Evan Guffey to increase the MSUM lead to 8-0.
The most thrilling win of the night for MSUM came at 141 where senior Philippe Walker battled with St. John’s junior Ben Henle, who entered the match with a 20-4 record. The back-and-forth match was tied 7-7 after the end of regulation and in the final overtime period, he scored a reversal to earn a 9-7 win, giving the Dragons an 11-0 lead in the dual.
“That was a big win for Philippe Walker,” Nelson said. “He’s been losing some close matches lately; it was good for him to get the win in that match.”
Novacek was impressive at 149 pounds, dominating the match in a 22-9 major decision victory over Jesse Rogers as the MSUM lead grew to 15-0 in the dual. The bonus points continued at 157 for MSUM as sophomore Garret Hoffner earned an 11-1 win over St. John’s Brian McCann to push the Dragon advantage to 19-0.
Sophomore Dan Murakami recorded a 3-1 win at 165 pounds over Teddy Erickson to help MSUM grow its lead to 22-0. Senior Michael Joseph improved to 8-6 with a 9-4 win over St. John’s Nick Pegelow at 184 as MSUM extended its lead to 25-0. Senior Shawn Porter improved to 9-6 on the season with a hard-fought 3-2 over St. John’s Nick Pegelow at 184 pounds, giving MSUM its eighth straight win on the night.
The Dragons’ winning streak ended at 197 as the Johnnies earned a pin, but sophomore Nader Abdullatif finished the night off in impressive fashion for MSUM with a win by fall in 3:00 at 285 pounds of St. John’s sophomore Colin Fisher to conclude the 34-6 win.
The Johnnies return home to host their first dual of the 2014-15 season with a 7 p.m. bout against St. Olaf next Friday, Jan. 23, in Sexton Arena.
MSUM hosts two duals on Saturday to cap off the week. The Dragons will face conference foe Upper Iowa at 2 p.m. and follow with a nonconference dual at 4 p.m. against Jamestown.
“We were aggressive and finished strong,” Nelson said. “We need to continue that Saturday against Upper Iowa and Jamestown.”
MSU-Moorhead 34, Saint John’s 6
125-Shane Novak (MSUM) tech. fall Ben Kollaja, 18-2
133-Blake Bosch (MSUM) dec. Evan Guffey, 2-0
141-Philippe Walker (MSUM) dec. Ben Henle, 9-7 (OT)
149-Isaac Novacek (MSUM) maj. dec. Jesse Rogers, 22-9
157-Garret Hoffner (MSUM) maj. dec. Brian McCann, 11-1
165-Dan Murakami (MSUM) dec. Teddy Erickson, 3-1
174-Michael Joseph (MSUM) dec. Jackson Graham, 9-4
184-Shawn Porter (MSUM) dec. Nick Pegelow, 3-2
197-Ryan Michaelis (SJ) pinned Chris Bascon, 6:20
285-Nader Abdullatif (MSUM) pinned Colin Fisher, 3:00