Augustana wrestling takes down MSU-Moorhead at home

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Ethan Cota started the night with an upset win at 125 lbs., and the Vikings never looked back in a 27-12 win over MSU Moorhead on Thursday in Northern Sun Conference wrestling action at the Elmen Center.

Along with posting their 15th straight win over MSUM, including all 11 NSIC meetings, the win boosts the Vikings dual record to 2-1 overall, and evens their NSIC mark to 1-1, while the Dragons fall to 2-6 overall, and to an even 2-2 in the conference.

The dual started at 125 lbs, and pitted Cota against No. 6 ranked Cole
Jones. Cota jumped out to a 5-2 lead after the first period, only to see Jones scored the first three points of the second period to tie the match at 5-all. A Cota escape late in the second put him up 6-5 entering the third, where he started down, and posted another escape to go up 7-5 with 53 seconds remaining in the match, and held on for the upset win to put the Vikings up 3-0, while Cota improves to 12-13 on the season.

The Dragons got a pin at 133 lbs., to take a 6-3 lead, but the Vikings got it back from Jebben Keyes at 141 lbs. Tied 3-3 midway through the second, Keyes got a takedown to go up 5-3, and then added five more, plus riding time, to secure the 10-3 decision, and tie the match at 6-6, while pushing his record to 13-9.

Tyler Wagener kept the momentum in the home team's favor at 149 lbs., as he jumped out to a big lead early, and cruised to an 18-0 technical fall, his second of the season, which moves to home 7-2 on the season while giving the Vikings an 11-6 lead in the dual. Up 9-2 into the third period at 157 lbs.,

Colin Ayers made it three straight Vikings wins, tacking on four more points to get the 13-5 major decision win, his team-best 21st win of the season gave Augustana a 15-6 lead in the match.

Trailing 2-0 into the third period, Jackson Sweeney got a takedown with about 1:20 remaining to tie the 165 lb. match, and then rode out his opponent for the 3-2 win, Augie's fourth in a row, to give the Vikings an 18-6 lead, while Sweeney moves to 12-5 with his sixth win in-a-row.

Lucas Poloncic nearly turned a low-scoring affair into a major decision at 174 lbs., as he entered the third period with a 3-0 lead, and then got a takedown and a four-point nearfall to make it 9-1, but a late escape gave him a 9-2 decision, and a 21-6 Vikings lead. Poloncis improves to 10-7 with his sixth straight win.

MSUM got three points back with a decision win at 184 lbs., to cut the Augie lead to 21-9, but Clayton Wahlstrom secured the Viking victory at 197 lbs., with a first period pin that gave them a 27-9 lead. Wahlstrom's fifth pin of the season gives ties him for the team-high in wins with 21, compared to 11 losses.

The Dragons hung on to win the 285 lb. match in a 2-1, two-overtime decision, but it only changed the final score and not the outcome.

The Vikings now turn their attention to Southwest Minnesota State, which hosts the Vikings on Saturday in Marshall, Minn., at 2 p.m.

Individual Match Results vs. MSUM

125: Ethan Cota (AU) def. No. 6 Cole Jones (MSUM), Dec. 7-5 -- 3-0 AU
133: Seth Hutchinson (MSUM) def. Brayden Curry (AU), Fall, 4:06 -- 6-3 MSUM
141: Jebben Keyes (AU) def. Mason Schulz (MSUM), Dec. 10-3 -- 6-6 Tie
149: Tyler Wagener (AU) def. Dylan Connell (MSUM), Tech. Fall, 18-0, 4:42 -- 11-6 AU
157: Colin Ayers (AU) def. Braydon Ortloff (MSUM), Maj. Dec. 13-5 -- 15-6 AU
165: Jackson Sweeney (AU) def. Justin Dravis (MSUM), Dec. 3-2 -- 18-6 AU
174: Lukas Poloncic (AU) def. Adam Blees (MSUM), Dec. 9-2 -- 21-6 AU
184: Evan Foster (MSUM) def. Daniel Bishop (AU), Dec. 9-8 -- 21-9 AU
197: Clayton Wahlstrom (AU) def. Mitch Kotschevar (MSUM), Fall, 2:55 -- 27-9 AU
285: Jordan Magnuson (MSUM) def. Matt Naig (AU), 2OT Dec. 2-1 -- 27-12 AU