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Eric Peterson, Published February 04 2014

Cobbers power past Dragons on the mat

MOORHEAD – Concordia trailed through three matches Tuesday night, and then senior Jake Long took the mat.

“Those first three matches kind of sparked me and made me wrestle tougher,” said Long, who wrestles at 149 pounds. “I was trying to do that for the rest of the guys.”

Long earned a major decision in his match, a victory that helped spark Concordia to a 28-7 win against Minnesota State Moorhead in nonconference college wrestling at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

Ranked No. 8 in the latest NCAA Division III poll, the Cobbers (14-4) have won four consecutive duals against the Division II Dragons.

“Overall, I thought they beat us to the punch,” said MSUM head coach Kris Nelson, whose team has a 5-8 record. “They took more shots than we did. They wrestled more aggressive. They deserved it, because I thought they outwrestled us. They’ve got a good team.”

The Dragons took a 7-3 dual lead after senior Connor MacGregor earned an 8-0 major decision at 141 pounds against Concordia junior Yonas Gebreab. MacGregor was filling in for regular starter Isaac Novacek.

Long countered with a 13-4 major at 149 against freshman Garret Hoffner, starting a string of seven consecutive Concordia victories. The Cobbers won 8 of the 10 matches in the dual. Concordia senior Kyle LeDuc followed Long with an 8-3 victory at 157 pounds to give his team a 10-7 lead, one the Cobbers would not relinquish.

“We knew that those were going to be tough matches, and those two got Concordia moving in the right direction and then they never really looked back after that,” Nelson said.

The Cobbers have won two consecutive duals after losing two in a row prior to that. Concordia was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation before those back-to-back dual losses on Jan. 25.

“I think we were kind of on a little roller coaster,” Long said. “Maybe we got a little ahead of ourselves. … I think it helped to lose those two matches to get us back in perspective.”

Cobbers senior Cody Kasprick capped Tuesday’s dual victory, pinning Dragons junior Gerad Fugleberg at heavyweight. That was the lone fall in the dual.

“It’s the toughest part of the year,” Cobbers head coach Matt Nagel said. “It’s just a matter of pushing through here.”

125: Bosch, MSUM, dec. Foltz 10-4.

133: Bergeron, CC, dec. Novak 8-2.

141: MacGregor, MSUM, major dec. Gebreab 8-0.

149: Long, CC, major dec. Hoffner 13-4.

157: LeDuc, CC, dec. Murakami 8-3.

165: Krogstad, CC, dec. Porter 8-4.

174: Gardner, CC, dec. Monk 8-4.

184: Harrison, CC, dec. Lewellen 2-0.

197: Saintal, CC, dec. Schlosser 11-4.

285: Kasprick, CC, pinned Fugleberg 2:00.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com