SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- The Augustana wrestling team took down its third-consecutive nationally-ranked opponent in front of a packed house at the Elmen Center Thursday night. The Vikings defeated No. 17 Northern State, 20-14, to move to 4-2 on the season.
The Vikings jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the match, after junior Ethan Cota recorded a 13-3 major decision at 125 pounds that included three takedowns and a riding time point. Redshirt freshman Jack Huffman followed Cota's performance with a 9-4 win of his own at 133 pounds.
Augustana fell behind 11-7 after losing bouts at 141, 149 and 157 pounds. After the intermission, sophomore Dylan Schuck won a 12-5 decision to bring the score to pull within a point at 11-10.
Junior Ben Kelvington proceeded to dominate every second of the 174-pound bout as the Vikings regained the lead 14-11. Kelvington recorded six takedowns and over three minutes of riding time.
Augustana lost the 184-pound bout to bring the match score to 14-14 going into the final two duals of the night. Sophomore Daniel Bishop then recorded a 4-1 win in the 197-pound bout to put the Vikings up 17-14 and set the scene for a dramatic finish in the match-deciding heavyweight bout.
With Northern State owning the match tiebreaker (a tech fall recorded earlier in the match), the winner of the 285-pound dual decided the winner of the match. Redshirt freshman Steven Hajas was trailing 3-2 with under a minute left in the third period before taking a shot and recording a ferocious takedown for the lead as the crowd went wild. Northern State's Caleb Lefferdink escaped with just under 20 seconds remaining to send the heavyweights to overtime.
Hajas wasted no time and recorded a takedown to give the Vikings the victory amidst another electric atmosphere at the Elmen Center.
Augustana has now defeated the No. 2, No. 23 and No. 17 teams in Division II, is on a four-dual win streak and is 1-0 in NSIC duals. Overall, the Vikings are 4-2 in duals and are undefeated against Division II competition.
"I was really happy with the win tonight," head coach Jason Reitmeier said. "Even in the losses we battled hard and saved some points here and there. They are ranked 17th in the nation, we know they are good, so coming away with this win is a great one for us."
125: Ethan Cota (AUG) over Landen Fischer (NSU) (MD 13-3)
133: Jack Huffman (AUG) over Dayne Morton (NSU) (Dec 9-4)
141: Kenny Jones (NSU) over Taylor Jeffries (AUG) (TF 16-1 7:00)
149: Caden Moore (NSU) over Keaten Schorr (AUG) (Dec 9-3)
157: James Burks (NSU) over Jacob Tvinnereim (AUG) (Dec 7-3)
165: Dylan Schuck (AUG) over Billy Holtan (NSU) (Dec 12-6)
174: Ben Kelvington (AUG) over Tanner Wiese (NSU) (MD 14-4)
184: Marcus Placide (NSU) over Tanner Brengle (AUG) (Dec 12-5)
197: Daniel Bishop (AUG) over Diego Gallegos (NSU) (Dec 4-1)
285: Steven Hajas (AUG) over Caleb Lefferdink (NSU) (SV-1 6-4)
The Vikings take on the Dragons of MSU Moorhead in their first NSIC road dual of the season on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 3 p.m.