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Tom Mix, Published December 18 2012

Packers survive to defeat Spuds in wrestling dual

WEST FARGO – The possible meeting between metro wrestling standouts Preston Lehmann of West Fargo and Chase Morlock of Moorhead may have been the initial draw on Tuesday at West Fargo High School.

That matchup didn’t happen, but the dual between the Packers and Spuds wasn’t without fireworks.

West Fargo survived a grueling dual, winning 37-32 when Packers senior Zach Eider pinned Moorhead’s Brody Jerome in 2 minutes, 34 seconds at 285 pounds.

The North Dakota Class A, No. 1-ranked Packers trailed 32-31 heading into the Eider-Jerome matchup.

“He did a good job,” West Fargo head coach Kayle Dangerud said. “That is a lot of pressure coming down to the last match of the dual. We dropped the ball a lot and he did a good job of picking us up and getting us the win.”

Eider scored an early

two-point takedown in the first period and turned that into a three-point near fall. During that span the official’s hand was close to hitting the mat twice, however the freshman Jerome was able to extend the match into the second period.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity and it was really close,” said Eider who normally wrestles at 220 pounds.

Eider picked up right where he had left off, scoring the pin 34 seconds into the second period.

“I was disappointed that it wasn’t finished there,” Eider said. “I was pretty excited when I thought I had him. Thankfully, I was able to pull it off quick in the second.”

Moorhead had won the previous two matches by pins to make the 285-pound decision the decisive matchup.

“Big guys always love it when it comes down to them,” Moorhead head coach Skip Toops said. “You could feel the atmosphere. Everyone was into it. Their wrestler had a little more experience, but our freshman (Brody Jerome) has a lot of potential. They got the upper hand this time.”

The victory keeps the Packers undefeated in dual competition at 8-0.

“I have been worried about Moorhead for a long time,” Dangerud said. “They got a good program over there.”

The Spuds scored wins at the 113, 132, 138, 160, 170, 195 and 220 weight classes.

Of those wins, three were by pins, the first coming from junior Kenny Mark at 138 pounds. Mark pinned Jesse Shearer at 3:35 into their match, which cut West Fargo’s lead to 15-14 midway through the dual.

“We had big wins at a lot of places,” Toops said. “We had a big win at 113 and then Jacob (Rositas) at 132. Then Kenny (Mark) got a big stick at 138. … Anytime when you have two tough guys wrestling and one guy gets a fall, that gets everyone fired up. It was exciting.”

Lehmann – a NCAA Division I North Dakota State wrestling signee – pinned Moorhead’s Skyler Berry at 182 pounds.

Morlock, who is an NDSU football commit, pinned West Fargo’s Nathan Mugavero at 195 pounds.

Both Lehmann and Morlock are nationally ranked at 195 pounds in the InterMat Wrestling poll.

Lehmann has been wrestling at 182 pounds this year due to injuries in the West Fargo lineup.

“That dual was a lot of fun,” Toops said. “West Fargo is tough as nails. They are the best team in the state of North Dakota. I’m proud of the way my guys fought. We fought until the end of the periods. We fought through whistles. None of them gave up, and I’m proud of the way my guys wrestled.”

106: K. Cronin, WF, win by forfeit

113: Tallakson,M, dec. Franek, 12-6

120: R. Cronin, WF, dec. Dickhaus, 13-7

126: Jo. Shearer, WF, pinned Laidlaw, 1:21

132: Rositas, M, tech. fall Austermiller, 6:00

138: Mark, M, pinned Je. Shearer, 3:35

145: Dobler, WF, pinned Olson :22

152: Ky. Kragnes, WF, maj. dec. J. Grove, 14-2

160: Carpenter, M, dec. Shepherd, 5-2

170: S. Grove, M, dec. Kuznia, 5-2

182: Lehmann, WF, pinned Berry :45

195: Morlock, M, pinned Mugavero, 1:33

220: Wychor, M, pinned Metz 1:13

285: Eider, WF, pinned Jerome, 2:34

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562