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Early pins leads Cobbers to victory against rival Dragons on the mat

Tony Struntz, top, of Concordia wrestles Jonathan Hoffner of Minnesota State Moorhead during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor1 / 9
Bryce Kallenbach, right, of Concordia wrestles Cody Anderson of Minnesota State Moorhead during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor2 / 9
Aaron Sistrunk of Minnesota State Moorhead wrestles Aaron Dick of Concordia during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor3 / 9
Cole Jones, right, of Minnesota State Moorhead wrestles Jake Nohre of Concordia during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor4 / 9
Travis Deegan, top, of Concordia wrestles Weston Dobler of Minnesota State Moorhead during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor5 / 9
Adam Blees, right, of Minnesota State Moorhead wrestles Jacob Johnson of Concordia during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor6 / 9
Mitch Kotschevar, right, of Minnesota State Moorhead wrestles Jonah Lange of Concordia during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor7 / 9
Ty Johnson, top, of Concordia wrestles Zach Scott of Minnesota State Moorhead during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor8 / 9
Preston Lehmann, right, of Minnesota State Moorhead wrestles Kody Van Den Eykel of Concordia during their team dual Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, at Minnesota State Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor9 / 9

MOORHEAD—Less than two minutes into the dual, Concordia senior Aaron Dick delivered a momentum-altering performance.

Dick scored a pin at 1 minute, 31 seconds at 133 pounds to give the Cobbers a six-point lead after the first match. Those early bonus points helped vault Concordia to a 22-18 dual victory against Minnesota State Moorhead on Tuesday in nonconference men's wrestling at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse.

"My only thought was going out there and competing, always ready to attack," said Dick, who is from St. Michael, Minn. "I think it added to the energy from our bench. ...It's definitely a big momentum swing."

The Cobbers (1-0) have won eight consecutive duals against the Dragons. Concordia won six of the 10 matches Tuesday night to offset two MSUM pins.

"We talked to our guys about just wrestling hard," Cobbers head coach Phil Moenkedick said. "That's what I think got us the dual win, we wrestled harder. We trusted in our conditioning."

Dragons head coach Kris Nelson agreed.

"They wrestled hard every match," Nelson said. "I felt our guys were a little winded. I think we need to work on our conditioning."

The dual started at 133 pounds. Dick built an early lead against Dragons freshman Aaron Sistrunk before he scored the first-period fall. Nelson said he thought the match at 133 was a toss-up heading into the dual.

"With them coming out and starting out with a pin, got them going in the right direction right away," Nelson said. "That was one match where I didn't feel either guys was favored, and for them to pick up pin there and pick up six points, that really got the the momentum rolling in their direction."

The Cobbers took a 19-6 lead after sophomore Jonah Lange scored a 5-3 decision against Dragons freshman Mitch Kotschevar at 184 pounds.

MSUM got a spark at 197 pounds, where sophomore Preston Lehmann scored a fall at 4:02 against Cobbers senior Kody Van Den Eykel. That cut the Cobbers lead to 19-12.

"I think Preston is going to do some great things for us this year," Nelson said. "I thought that got the momentum going again for us."

The Cobbers, however, clinched the dual victory at 285 after freshman Ethan Kimber scored an 8-4 decision against Dragons junior Cody Anderson. That gave Concordia a 22-12 lead.

Moenkedick said he was feeling good after his team started the dual with a fall, but he didn't expect the Dragons to earn bonus points in the latter matches.

MSUM freshman Cole Jones scored a pin at 125 to close out the dual.

"I didn't expect us to get pinned at all," Moenkedick said. "This dual never goes how you think it's going to go."

Nelson liked how Jones performed even though the dual outcome had been decided. Jones' fall came at 2:09 against Cobbers freshman Jake Nohre.

"He came out and just got after it right away and picked up that pin for us," Nelson said. "He's a little firecracker so we are excited to see him in the lineup throughout the year."

125: Jones, MSUM, pinned Nohre 2:08.

133: Dick, CC, pinned Sistrunk 1:31.

141: Walton, MSUM, dec. Presler 3-1.

149: T. Johnson, CC, dec. Scott 10-4.

157: Struntz, CC, major dec. Hoffner 12-3.

165: Deegan, CC, dec. Dobler 7-1.

174: Blees, MSUM, dec. Johnson 3-1.

184: Lange, CC, dec. Kotschevar 5-3.

197: Lehmann, MSUM, pinned Van Den Eykel 4:02.

285: Kimber, CC, dec. Anderson 8-4.

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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