Dragons Rally for Thrilling 20-19 Win over Rival Concordia
MOORHEAD, Minn. — The Minnesota State University Moorhead wrestling team rallied from a 16-6 deficit with wins in four of the final five matches to earn a thrilling 20-19 win over crosstown rival Concordia in a nonconference dual Thursday at Nemzek Fieldhouse. After several frustrating close losses, MSUM beat the Cobbers for the first time since the 2010 season.
MSUM improved to 1-3 on the year with the win while Concordia fell to 5-4.
Sophomores Justin Dravis (165) and Evan Foster (174) helped complete the comeback for the Dragons, which received a huge momentum boost from a pin from senior Zach Scott at 149.
MSUM was down 16-6 with five weights remaining.
“We told them at intermission that if we win out, we win the dual,” MSUM head coach Kris Nelson said. “We won four of the five and the pin at 149 was huge.”
Dravis trailed in the third period but battled back to tie the match at 4-4 thanks to a third-period takedown. He won the match thanks to riding time by a 5-4 score. That win brought MSUM within 19-17 in the dual heading into the finale at 174. Dravis is now 9-6 on the year and that win brought MSUM within 19-17.
“To battle back and get the takedown and ride it out — that was the dual,” Nelson said.
The Dragons needed a win of any kind at 174 from Foster, who is ranked 14th in the nation at that weight. Foster got an early takedown and went on to take a 6-2 win and capping off an impressive Dragon comeback.
Kotschevar improved to 10-12 on the year with a hard-fought 3-2 win over Concordia’s Ayden Friese at 184. The score was tied 1-1 early in the third period before Kotschevar scored the decisive takedown to take a 3-1 lead.
Concordia won by fall at 197 to take a 6-3 lead but junior Jordan Magnuson evened the match up with a 5-2 win by decision over Chase Dockter. Magnuson trailed 1-0 going into the third period but scored an early escape and a pair of takedowns to earn his seventh win of 2019-20.
The Cobbers won at 125 by fall and by major decision at 133 to take a 16-6 lead into intermission. At 133, MSUM’s Joey Nerdahl was injured during the match but fought to only lose by a major decision rather than giving up a pin or injury default.
“Staying out there meant a lot to the team,” Nelson said.
Out of the break, sophomore Mason Schulz, ranked 15th in the nation at 141, earned a 5-0 win over Cade Lundeen at 141, and senior Zach Scott followed with a pin in 3:22 that energized the Dragon crowd and cut the lead to 16-15.
“Zach Scott is a pinner and got on top and turned the guy to that back,” Nelson said. “That was a big momentum shift in the dual. We needed those bonus points.”
Concordia won at 157 to put the lead at 19-15, and MSUM lost a team point for unsportsmanlike conduct to see the score go to 19-14. Dravis and Foster followed with decision wins to give the Dragons the victory.
MSU Moorhead is at No. 8 Upper Iowa on Sunday, January 26. Concordia competes next when they host St. John’s on Friday, January 31 at 7:00 pm.
MSU Moorhead 20, Concordia 19
184-Mitch Kotschevar (MSUM) dec. Ayden Friese, 3-2
197-Gabe Zierden (C) pinned Logan Rhode, 3:40
285-Jordan Magnuson (MSUM) dec. Chase Dockter, 5-2
125-Cole Kubesh (C) pinned Cameron Williams, 2:10
133-Jacob Prunty (C) maj. dec. Joey Nerdahl, 13-5
141-Mason Schulz (MSUM) dec. Cade Lundeen, 6-0
149-Zach Scott (MSUM) pinned Brett Wilson, 3:22
157-Tyler Bents (C) dec. Tell Ward, 4-0
165-Justin Dravis (MSUM) dec. Alex Skaare, 5-4
174-Evan Foster (MSUM) dec. Ian Frenzel, 6-2
(MSUM lost a team point due to unsportsmanlike conduct)