Jacks beat NDSU for first time in 13 years

David Michaud

David Michaud

“We haven’t had the season that we wanted to, but you know, if we come out and beat NDSU, that’s something that people are going to remember,” said wrestling head coach Jason Liles.

And the Jacks sure turned it into something worth remembering, coming from 12 down with only three matches remaining to defeat NDSU for the first time since 1997 and win the final dual of the season.

“It was the first time since I’ve been at SDSU that we beat them, and it was my last dual as a Jackrabbit.,” said Tyler Sorenson. “To go out like this, it’s really special.”

The Jacks started the dual on the right foot, as Aaron Pickrel turned out a big win against a highly regarded opponent, NDSU’s Justin Solberg.

“I thought everything went the way I wanted it to,” said Pickrel.

The Bison looked dominant from 141 to 174, though, winning every match by either major decision or pin.

At 174, senior Marc Wermersen, wrestling in his last match and filling in an otherwise open weight for the Jacks, did all he could against the bigger Mac Stoll. Yet, it wasn’t enough, as Stoll won 15-5, putting the Bison up 22-10 with only three matches to go.

If the Jacks were to come back, they needed big points from the big boys, and they got it.

The start of the 184 match looked similar to the previous five, as NDSU’s Kenny Moenkedick took down David Michaud early. Michaud scored an early escape, though, and from there it was all Jackrabbits.

Moenkedick got tied up with Michaud, which Michaud capitalized on by throwing him in a headlock. Michaud pinned Moenkedick in 2:13 and give the Jacks six points, putting the score at 22-16.

The next match went exactly as needed for SDSU with 197 Tyler Sorenson dominating Drew Ross throughout the final regular season match of his career. With the 15-4 win, Sorenson put SDSU down 22-20, in position to win the dual by winning the final match of the night.

At 285, Kevin Kelly had a chance to not only record his first win of the season, but to give SDSU it’s first conference dual win this year. He succeeded on both counts.

Kelly started the final period down 0-1 against the Bison’s Joe Arthur, but he would not be denied the win. With 1:15 remaining, Kelly scored his first point, an escape to tie the match at 1-1. Kelly continued to push the pace against his opponent before finally recording the takedown with 12 seconds remaining to give himself a 3-1 lead. The match ended at 4-1, with a riding time point given to Kelly.

The win gave SDSU the final three points they needed to beat NDSU, 23-22.

“I just thought, ‘We beat our rival, we beat NDSU’,” Kelly said.

“This win definitely gives us momentum heading into our conference tournament,” said Liles. “Now we just need to keep it going on March 6.”