NDSU outlasts SDSU on the mat


BROOKINGS, S.D. – North Dakota State’s two victories by technical fall proved to be the difference as the Bison squeaked by South Dakota State, 19-18, in a Big 12 wrestling dual Friday night in front of a Frost Arena crowd of 1,679.

In winning their seventh dual in a row and retaining the Border Bell trophy, NDSU improved to 10-3 overall and 6-1 in Big 12 duals. The Jackrabbits had their five-match winning streak snapped and ended their dual season 12-6 overall and 6-3 against Big 12 foes.

The Bison opened up an early 8-0 lead, starting with an 8-7 decision by McGwire Midkiff over 25th-ranked Danny Vega of SDSU in the opening bout of the night. Cam Sykora, ranked 13th at 133 pounds, followed with the first technical fall for NDSU as he defeated Zach Price, 19-4, in a match that ended in the second period.

SDSU drew to within 8-6 with back-to-back decisions by Clay Carlson and ninth-ranked Henry Pohlmeyer. Carlson downed Dylan Droegemeueller, 7-3, in the 141-pound matchup, while Pohlmeyer, who was making his final Frost Arena appearance, blanked Jaden Van Maanen, 3-0, at 149 pounds.

Jared Franek, ranked 21st, closed the first half of the dual with NDSU’s second technical fall of the night, posting a 17-2 victory over Garrett Jordan in the 157-pound matchup that built the lead for the Bison to 13-6.

The Bison lead grew to 16-6 when 11th-ranked Andrew Fogarty downed SDSU backup Kenny O’Neil, 9-3, at 165 pounds. O’Neil prevented another bonus-point win for the Bison with a takedown of Fogarty in the closing seconds.

The Jackrabbits’ comeback bid hit a fever pitch in the upper weights. For the second dual in a row, Tanner Cook was bumped up a weight class to 174 and came away with a victory. The 25th-ranked wrestler at 165 pounds, Cook raced out to an early 14-2 lead against Luke Weber before holding off a rally for a 17-8 major decision.

Senior Zach Carlson extended his streak of bonus-point wins for SDSU to six matches with a 16-1 technical fall over Noah Cressell that closed the margin in the team score to 16-15. Carlson, ranked 17th at 184 pounds, led only 2-1 after the first period before picking up two points for stalling and adding a four-point near-fall in the second period. He added an escape, takedown and four more back points in the third period before sealing the 15-point victory with a riding-time advantage of more than four minutes.

Tanner Sloan, ranked 12th, gave SDSU its lone lead of the night in the penultimate match of the dual, 18-16, by holding off Cordell Eaton for a 3-2 victory at 197 pounds.

The dual came down to the heavyweight matchup between 22nd-ranked Brandon Metz of NDSU and the Jackrabbits’ Blake Wolters. Metz drew first blood with a first-period takedown before Wolters tied the match at 2-all early in the second with a pair of escapes. Metz scored the decisive point in the 3-2 decision with an escape to open the third period and warded off a pair of takedown attempts by Wolters in the final minute to seal the victory for the Bison.

The Jackrabbits will prepare for the Big 12 Wrestling Championship, which is scheduled for March 7-8 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

125: McGwire Midkiff (NDSU) dec. #25 Danny Vega (SDSU), 8-7
133: #13 Cam Sykora (NDSU) tech. fall Zach Price (SDSU), 19-4 [4:31]
141: Clay Carlson (SDSU) dec. Dylan Droegemueller (NDSU), 7-3
149: #9 Henry Pohlmeyer (SDSU) dec. Jaden Van Maanen (NDSU), 3-0
157: #21 Jared Franek (NDSU) tech. fall Garrett Jordan (SDSU), 18-3 [7:00]
165: #11 Andrew Fogarty (NDSU) dec. Kenny O’Neil (SDSU), 9-3
174: Tanner Cook (SDSU) major dec. Luke Weber (NDSU), 17-8
184: #17 Zach Carlson (SDSU) tech. fall Noah Cressell (NDSU), 16-1 [7:00}
197: #12 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) dec. Cordell Eaton (NDSU), 3-2
285: #22 Brandon Metz (NDSU) dec. Blake Wolters (SDSU), 4-2
Notes: Cook ranked 25th at 165 pounds; rankings by FloWrestling


  • North Dakota State leads the all-time series, 44-21-1, including a 4-3 advantage in the Border Bell series
  • Both teams received three votes in this week’s NWCA Division I Coaches’ Poll
  • Price lost by anything but a decision for the first time this season
  • Zach Carlson ended the dual season with a team-best 15 wins against three losses
  • Carlson has recorded four technical falls and two major decisions during his six-match winning streak and has scored at least 16 points in all six matches
  • Pohlmeyer and Cook each improved to 12-2 in duals
  • Sloan upped his dual record to 13-3 in duals and 18-5 overall


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