Bison Turn Back Northern Colorado 23-13 in Western Wrestling Conference Opener
FARGO, N.D.– North Dakota State University 184-pound Hayden Zillmer recorded his fifth pin of the season, while 125 Josh Rodriguez and 149 Clay Ream both posted major decisions as the Bison defeated Northern Colorado 23-13 in the Western Wrestling Conference opener for both teams Friday, Jan. 16, before 307 spectators at the Bentson Bunker Fieldhouse.
NDSU improves to 3-3 overall and 1-0 in the WWC, while the Bears dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the WWC. The Bison host Boise State (2-3) at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18, at the BBF. Boise State lost 19-12 at South Dakota State on Friday night.
With North Dakota State leading just 14-10, Zillmer, a junior from Crosby, Minn., kept the pressure on UNC’s Keith Johnson in the second period to record the fall at 4:12. Zillmer improved to 22-4 overall and 6-0 in dual action this season. Zillmer entered the match ranked No. 9 nationally.
The Bison powered its way to a 11-3 lead after taking the first three out of four matches. NDSU sophomore Rodriguez (Guadalupe, Calif.) recorded a 15-4 major decision over No. 12-ranked Trey Andrews at 125 to improve his record to 10-5 overall. Bison sophomore Hunter Weber (Marshall, Wis.) followed with an 8-2 decision against Sonny Espinoza.
After UNC’s Ben Polkowske edged NDSU’s Mitch Bengtson (St. Cloud, Minn.) 3-2, Bison redshirt freshman Clay Ream (Wentzville, Mo.) grinded out an impressive 13-1 decision over Kyle Rodriguez at 149 pounds. Ream improved to 16-9 overall, 5-1 in dual matches and posted his fourth major decision of the season.
Northern Colorado rallied to pull within 11-10 when Tyler Kinn shut out NDSU redshirt sophomore Steven Keogh (Thief River Falls, Minn.) 7-0 at 157, and Mitchell Polkowske pinned a 15-2 major decision on Bison redshirt freshman Grant Nehring (Kimball, Minn.) at 165.
North Dakota State senior 174 Kurtis Julson (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) steadied the ship with an 8-4 decision over UNC’s Josh VanTine to provide a 14-10 cushion prior Zillmer’s pin. Julson improved to 11-7 overall
UNC’s Trent Noon defeated Bison redshirt freshman Tommy Petersen (Lakeville, Minn.) 9-2 at 197 pounds, before NDSU senior Evan Knutson (Wasau, Wis.) scored a takedown with less than 10-seconds left in the third period to post a 3-1 decision over Brian Macchione in the 285 matchup. Knutson, who was ranked 14th nationally, improved to 16-7 overall and 4-2 in dual action.
North Dakota State 23, Northern Colorado 13
125: Joshua Rodriguez (NDSU) over Trey Andrews (NOCO) (MD 15-4)
133: Hunter Weber (NDSU) over Michael Espinoza (NOCO) (Dec 8-2)
141: Benjamin Polkowske (NOCO) over Mitchell Bengtson (NDSU) (Dec 3-2)
149: Clayton Ream (NDSU) over Kyle Rodriguez (NOCO) (MD 13-1)
157: Tyler Kinn (NOCO) over Steven Keogh (NDSU) (Dec 7-0)
165: Mitchell Polkowske (NOCO) over Grant Nehring (NDSU) (MD 15-2)
174: Kurtis Julson (NDSU) over Josh VanTine (NOCO) (Dec 7-4)
184: Hayden Zillmer (NDSU) over Keith Johnson (NOCO) (Fall 4:12)
197: Trent Noon (NOCO) over Thomas Petersen (NDSU) (Dec 9-2)
285: Evan Knutson (NDSU) over Brian Macchione (NOCO) (Dec 3-1)