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Blue Hawks suffer big loss to Northern State

Dickinson State wrestling didn't go into its only home dual in the best shape. Following a tough and competitive tournament in Montana the weekend before, the go-to guys were still pretty beat up. For better or for worse, younger grapplers would ...

Dickinson State sophomore Cody Warner competes against Northern State sophomore Billy Holtan in a home dual on Friday, Dec. 7 at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)
Dickinson State sophomore Cody Warner competes against Northern State sophomore Billy Holtan in a home dual on Friday, Dec. 7 at Scott Gym. (Shelby Reardon / The Dickinson Press)

Dickinson State wrestling didn't go into its only home dual in the best shape.

Following a tough and competitive tournament in Montana the weekend before, the go-to guys were still pretty beat up. For better or for worse, younger grapplers would get some time on the mat. Going up against a notoriously talented, NCAA Div. II Northern State (S.D.) team, the young Blue Hawks did not fare well.

Winning two matches by fall, three by technical fall and two by major decision, the Wolves nearly swept the Blue Hawks with a 44-6 victory on Friday, Dec. 7 at Scott Gym.

"We had about six starters that got beat up a little bit last weekend," Dickinson State head coach Justin Schlecht said. "Even with some wins they just got beat up and so, it's good to get those guys experience, but they need to rise to the occasion. They were disappointing in that. ... I think that they're better than that, whether they be nervous or whatever it might be, they need to do a better job than that and we need to do a better job preparing them."

The Blue Hawks sole victory went to 141-pound junior Jamie Mullins. Part way through the first round, freshman Kolton Roth yelped in pain after suffering a knee injury. After an examination, he stood back up to keep wrestling. Ahead of the start of the second round, Roth waived his arms in defeat, granting Mullins and the Blue Hawks six points.

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Ahead of the injury, Mullins and Roth were competing in one of the most competitive fights of the night.

While Roth came away with an early takedown, Mullins earned four quick points with a reversal and near fall to take a 4-2 lead.

"I like to go out there and push the pace and keep a close match if I can," Mullins said.

He confessed there was still plenty to improve on even in the short performance.

"There's always stuff I'm going to go back and pick out for sure, especially when I look at film," he said. "I let him get a throw in on me earlier than I should have. I gave up that first take down. I like to get the first takedown to set the precedent of the match, so that was unfortunate. I wish we could have finished the rest of the match."

In the final bout of the evening, Blue Hawks heavyweight junior Casey Jones was so close to victory. After a tiring and scoreless opening round, Wolves sophomore Harrison Townsend got on the board with an escape. Starting the third round in the down position, Jones answered with an escape of his own.

With the next takedown the potential winner, both team benches started screaming at the men on the mat.

With 35 seconds left, Townsend made his move, earning a pair of points with the takedown. Jones escaped, but with just 11 seconds left, he couldn't counter, losing the match 3-2, the only regular decision of the night.

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While Townsend was clearly the larger of the two, Schlecht said that shouldn't be an excuse.

"Casey knows that and that's part of being a heavyweight," Schlecht said. "Casey needs to do a little better job adjusting to what we ask him to and fixing things during the week that we want him to and committing to a few more shots. You commit on a couple more attacks and he scores those."

The Blue Hawks have a bit of a break before they compete again at Hastings College (Neb.) for a tournament in early January, and bring the action back home for the Tyler Plummer Tournament on January 12.

Schlecht said there is clearly a lot to figure out between now and then.

"I want to lay an apology out there for Blue Hawk fans that we let down in that aspect, that I let down. I let down myself and this program and them not rising up to the occasion and stepping up."

Northern State 44, Dickinson State 6

125: Dayne Morton (NSU) fall Landon Hopkins (DSU), 1:56.

133: Robert Coyle (NSU) tech. fall Trey Fishbach (DSU), 6:18.

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141: Jaime Mullins(DSU) injury default over Kolton Roth (NSU).

149: Caden Moore (NSU) maj. dec. Matt Carlson (DSU), 15-7.

157: Walker Carr (NSU) fall Konrich Speelmon (DSU), 2:28.

165: Billy Holtan (NSU) tech. fall Cody Warner (DSU), 4:45.

174: Jake Flakus (NSU) maj. dec. Caden Haugen (DSU), 13-3.

184: Kaden Campbell over open.

197: Diego Gallegos (NSU) tech. fall Kyle Anderson (DSU), 4:39.

HWT: Harrison Townsend (NSU) dec. Casey Jones (DSU), 3-2.

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