The 36-28 final is the closest match in Crookston's dual win streak.
ROSEAU - A month. That is how long it has been since the Crookston Pirates came away from a dual disappointed. The Pirates lost a dual to Thief River Falls on December 11, 2018 and have not lost since going on a 10 dual win streak. The most recent came in the form of a 36-28 win over the Roseau Rams.
The Rams (2-6) and Pirates (11-2) split pins 3-3, but Crookston benefited from three wins by default and Damian Hodgson's (Sr. 182 pounds) pin clinched the win to award the Pirates their 10th straight victory.
“It’s been fun,” Head Coach Wes Hanson said on his team's streak. “We’re kind of on a roll here. It’s been a complete team effort. We’ve had different guys step up. When we need to, everybody has contributed and helped.”
Each coach agreed to disregard the 106 and 195-pound matches making the dual consist of 12 matches rather than the usual 14.
Ethan Bowman (8th Grade 113 pounds) kicked off the match with a win by fall, his ninth of the season, over Bodee Hovda (8th Grade 113 pounds) with 1:07 to go in the match. Bowman led 7-5 at the time of the pin and gained an extra three points for the team by pinning Hovda.
Nolan Dans (So. 120 pounds), Zach Brown (So. 126 pounds) and Braxton Volker (8th Grade 132 pounds) each picked up a win by default and the Pirates' lead grew to 24-0.
Roseau put themselves on the board when Race Knochenmus (So. 138 pounds) pinned Cameron Weiland (So. 138 pounds) at 2:39. Hunter Knutson (8th Grade 145 pounds) retaliated and added six more points to the team score winning by fall against Joey Schneider (8th Grade 145 pounds).
“Hunter’s win was a big one for us,” Hanson said. “It was kind of an unknown match. I didn’t know a lot about his opponent, and Hunter did a good job of going out there and getting that first takedown. He was able to stick with it and wrestle a complete match. At that point, we had a pretty big lead built up.”
Trailing 30-6 with five matches to go and enough time to make a comeback, the Rams rattled off three wins in a row. The first came via pin when Chandler Mooney (Sr. 152 pounds) beat Cade Coauette (So. 152 pounds) in 16 seconds.
Next, Lukas Meier (Sr. 160 pounds) trailed 4-0 when the match was stopped due to an injury to Meier, who could not continue. This is the second time this season Meier was forced to withdraw from a match due to injury. The two losses in his 9-2 record on the year come from injury defaults.
Roseau made it a 30-22 match and capped off their 16-0 run with Dale Grindahl (Sr. 170 pounds) defeating Ethan Boll (8th Grade 170 pounds) by a 16-5 major decision.
Two matches remained and Hodgson stepped on the mat with a chance to end it. Any win would remove all doubt, and the senior did just that pinning Kyle Bliss (Sr. 182 pounds) in 25 seconds for his 10th win by fall of the season.
“[Damian] knew a win would seal the match,” Hanson said. “So he went out there and had a nice takedown. He didn’t waste any time, got right to it and made sure to get those points on the board.”
Sawyer Klatt (Jr. 220 pounds) pinned Blake Fee (Sr. 220 pounds) in 2:47, but it did not affect the overall outcome, and Crookston survived with a 36-28 win.
Hanson and the Pirates enjoy the recent success after a 1-2 start to the dual season and know the severity individual matches can carry.
“Ultimately, our guys are going out there and trying to wrestle to win,” Hanson said. “These duals, as of late, have been really close. Every one of those points makes a big difference. You never know which points could make the difference.”
The Pirates will go for number 11 in a row in a home match against Fosston-Bagley on Thursday, January 17 at 6 p.m.
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