MOORHEAD, Minn. — Earning victories in seven of the 10 weight classes, the Augsburg University wrestling team opened its dual-meet season with a 28-9 victory over Minnesota State University Moorhead on Thursday evening.
Augsburg, ranked No. 1 in the latest National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III national poll, trailed the Division II Dragons 9-7 after five bouts, but won the final five bouts, with three major decisions and a forfeit, to claim the 28-9 victory.
Top-ranked 165-pounder Ryan Epps (JR, Cannon Falls, Minn./Cannon Falls HS), last year’s 157-pound Division III national champion, dominated to close the match on Thursday, using a takedown, two reversals and an incredible 5:05 riding time advantage to score an 8-0, major decision win over MSUM’s Justin Dravis. Epps is now 9-0 on the season and 85-8 in his career. Seven of his nine wins are bonus-point victories (six pins, one major decision).
At 141, No. 4-ranked David Flynn (JR, Jordan, Minn./Jordan HS (Scott West)) used a pair of takedowns converted into four-point near-falls, one in the second period and the other in the third, to improve to 5-0 on the year with a 13-3, major-decision win over MSUM’s Mason Schulz. Four of his five wins this season are bonus-point triumphs (three pins, one major decision).
At 133, No. 2-ranked Sam Bennyhoff (SR, Mound, Minn./Mound-Westonka HS) remained unbeaten at 5-0 with a strong 8-0, major-decision win over MSUM’s Seth Hutchison. A takedown in the closing seconds, combined with 2:21 riding time, gave Bennyhoff his second bonus-point win of the season.
The Auggies had one bonus-point win in the first half of the dual, as No. 8-ranked 197-pounder Lance Benick (SO, Fridley, Minn./Totino-Grace HS) used a takedown and two 4-point near-falls in the opening minute of the bout to cruise to a 16-4, major-decision win over MSUM’s Logan Rhode.
At 157, Alex Wilson (JR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) used four takedowns and a 2:17 riding-time advantage to grind out a 12-9 win over Braydon Ortloff, improving to 7-2 on the season in the process. He joined his twin brother, Aaron Wilson (SR, Oak Grove, Minn./St. Francis HS) as Auggie winners on Thursday, as Aaron Wilson, the top-ranked 149-pounder nationally, won his bout by forfeit.
An All-American at 174 pounds last year, Tanner Vassar (JR, Maple Lake, Minn./Maple Lake HS) made his season debut at 184, using three takedowns, a reversal and 3:29 riding time to score a 10-5 win over Evan Foster.
Against opponents from Divisions II and III, Augsburg is now 328-51-1 in dual meets since the 1989-90 season. Augsburg has lost just 47 matches to non-Division I opponents since the 1995-96 season.
Augsburg claimed its 19th straight dual-meet victory over MSU Moorhead and is now 20-1 in the all-time series against the Dragons, dating to the 1984-85 season.
MSU Moorhead’s Cole Jones, ranked No. 12 in the latest NWCA Division II national rankings at 125, converted a takedown into a four-point near-fall in the final minute of the bout, turning a close match with Augsburg’s No. 6-ranked Victor Gliva (JR, Farmington, Minn./Farmington HS) into an 8-1 triumph.
The Dragons’ Adam Blees opened the match with a 6-4, sudden-victory overtime win over Augsburg’s Brady McFarland (SR, Windlake, Wis./Muskego HS), scoring a takedown to end the match with 34 seconds left in the first one-minute overtime.
At heavyweight, Sam Erckenbrack used a first-period takedown and 1:16 of riding time to claim a 4-2 win over Augsburg’s Ethan Hofacker (JR, Spring Valley, Wis./Spring Valley HS).
MSUM will be back in action on Dec. 15 when they travel to Indianapolis for the Midwest Classic.
Augsburg returns to action on Saturday (12/8) at 9 a.m., competing at the St. Cloud State University Holiday Inn/Husky Open.
No. 1 Augsburg (D-III, 1-0) 28, Minnesota State Moorhead (D-II, 1-2) 9
Dec. 6, 2018 • Alex Nemzek Hall, Moorhead, Minn.
Action begins at 174 pounds.
Official: Scott Brown.
Augsburg 28, Minnesota State Moorhead 9
174 – Adam Blees (MSUM, 6-4) dec. Brady McFarland (AUG, 2-2) 6-4 (OT-SV1) (MSUM 3-0).
184 – Tanner Vassar (AUG, 1-0) dec. Evan Foster (MSUM, 12-5) 10-5 (TIED 3-3).
197 – No. 8 Lance Benick (AUG, 8-1) maj. dec. Logan Rhode (MSUM, 4-9) 16-4 (Augsburg 7-3)
HWT – Sam Erckenbrack (MSUM, 12-4) dec. Ethan Hofacker (AUG, 4-5) 4-2 (Augsburg 7-6).
125 – No. 12 (D-II) Cole Jones (MSUM, 12-2) dec. No. 6 Victor Gliva (AUG, 7-2) 8-1 (MSUM 9-7).
133 – No. 2 Sam Bennyhoff (AUG, 5-0) maj. dec. Seth Hutchison (MSUM, 3-5) 8-0 (Augsburg 11-9).
141 – No. 4 David Flynn (AUG, 5-0) maj. dec. Mason Schulz (MSUM, 11-8) 13-3 (Augsburg 15-9).
149 – No. 1 Alex Wilson (AUG, 9-0) wins by forfeit (Augsburg 21-9).
157 – Aaron Wilson (AUG, 7-2) dec. Braydon Ortloff (MSUM, 8-6) 12-9 (Augsburg 24-9).
165 – No. 1 Ryan Epps (AUG, 9-0) maj. dec. Justin Dravis (MSUM, 7-8) 8-0 (Augsburg 28-9).