MOORHEAD, Minn. — No.8-ranked Concordia used their season-long recipe for success in dual meets. The Cobbers sprinted from the starting block and never looked back as they rolled to a 30-10 win over NAIA opponent Dickinson State.
Concordia won the first three individual bouts of the match to quickly grab a 16-0 lead and never allowed the Blue Hawks to get within 13 points for the rest of the dual.
The dual-meet win is the 13th of the season for Concordia and all 13 victories have come when the Cobbers have started the dual at the 125-lb weight class. CC is now 13-5 in duals and 13-2 when the match starts at 125. Concordia is 0-3 when the dual is started with a random draw.
The secret behind the national-ranked recipe is the front end of talent that Concordia has at the lower weight classes. Two of the three national ranked wrestlers for CC are at 125 and 133 and both have been extremely tough in dual meets.
That stacked early-dual lineup was evident against Dickinson State with No.5-ranked Jakob Stageberg starting the match with a pin fall at 125 and then No.4-ranked Gabe Foltz added a major decision at 133 to put the Blue Hawks in an early 10-0 hole.
Freshman Blane Tschida then scored a pin at the 1:38 mark of his bout at 141 and suddenly Concordia was up 16-0 before the match was more than 15 minutes old.
Dickinson State would cut the lead to 16-3 and then again get within 13 points at 20-7 but a three straight wins by Jake Johnson, Ricky Briggs and Jake Briggs put the team score out of reach.
Senior Ben Cousins collected the other win for Concordia. He never trailed in his match at 157. He picked up a pair of first-period takedowns and went on to record one of the Cobbers’ three major decisions in the dual match at 11-3.
Johnson used the same formula as Cousins in his win at 174. He had two takedowns in the opening period and then didn’t allow his opponent to get inside in the final two frames and won 5-3.
Ricky Briggs was never in trouble in his match at 184. He had a takedown in each period and cruised to an 8-0 major decision.
Jake Briggs provided the most dramatic win of the night. He struggled to get any offense in the first two periods and almost the entire third. He saved his best for the very end as a last-second takedown helped him earn a thrilling 2-1 win at 197.
Sophomore Jakob Stageberg earned his team-leading 25th win of the season when he started the match with a pin at 125. Stageberg is now 25-7 on the year and has won 10 of his last 11 matches. His lone loss in that stretch came at the hands of Ryan Weinmann of Wis.-La Crosse who is ranked one spot ahead of Stageberg at No.4 in Division III. With his 25 wins this year Stageberg now owns an 51-18 mark in his first two years at Concordia.
DRIVER EIGHT TAKE A BREAK
You might think that Stageberg is the hottest Cobber wrestler right now but that would be incorrect. That title goes to senior Gabe Foltz who has won eight straight matches and hasn’t lost at all in 2016. Foltz is now 20-3 on the season which marks the first time in his career that he has reached the 20-win plateau. Foltz’ previous single-season high was 19 wins in 2013-14.
WAITING ON A THIRD
Senior Ben Cousins is on the brink of making it three Cobber wrestlers with 20 wins on the season. Cousins picked up his 19th win on Thursday and is now 19-10 for the year. And like fellow senior Foltz, Cousins’ previous single-season best win total is 19. He had 19 victories last year when he earned a spot at the NCAA National Meet.
Concordia was supposed to go to the North Country Invite on Saturday but had their plans changed and will now have a six-day break before returning to the mat. The Cobbers will host St. John’s on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in the last home dual of the year.
#8 Concordia-Moorhead 30, Dickinson State 10
125 – #5 Jakob Stageberg (CC) pin fall Brice Gorsline (DSU); 5:54 (Concordia 6-0)
133 – #4 Gabe Foltz (CC) major decision Anthony Locke (DSU); 12-4 (Concordia 10-0)
141 – Blane Tschida (CC) pin fall Marshall Swanson (DSU); 1:38 (Concordia 16-0)
149 – Seth Ehlang (DSU) decision Ben Baumgartner (CC); SV-1 8-6 (Concordia 16-3)
157 – Ben Cousins (CC) major decision Pat Tangen (DSU); 11-3 (Concordia 20-3)
165 – Taylor Hodel (DSU) major decision #9 Cole Sladek (CC); 13-1 (Concordia 20-7)
174 – Jake Johnson (CC) decision Cody Johnson (DSU); 5-3 (Concordia 23-7)
184 – Ricky Briggs (CC) major decision Nick Dekalb (DSU); 8-0 (Concordia 27-7)
197 – Jake Briggs (CC) decision Jon Solano (DSU); 2-1 (Concordia 30-7)
285 – Trevor Conrad (DSU) decision Kody Van Den Eykel (CC); 9-2 (Concordia 30-10)