Yellowjacket wrestlers pull out exciting victory
Sam Pirrotta hit the mat and took care of business to quickly get Perham up 6-0 pinning Steve Holecek at 1:59 at 103 pounds.
The high drama would come at 215 pounds, where with the help of a forfeit to heavyweight Jesse Hein, Cody Nylander brought home a 36-30 victory for the Yellowjackets in exciting fashion.
The marquee matchup was to be Hein, ranked #2 in Class 2A versus #3 Nick Cervantes. Cervantes was unable to participate due to injury, which left a free six points for Perham at the end of the match.
Pirrotta pinned Holocek with one second remaining in the opening period of his match, causing Yellowjacket Radio Announcer Larry Mollins to interject there was some Zach Gabbard inspired momentum afoot.
Mollins was right as James Harlow came to the mat and pinned Spencer Horn at 1:35 for a 12-0 Perham lead.
The lead would stand for the next seven matches as both teams traded points.
Brandon Lueders dominated Austin Hjelle on the mat but not on the scoreboard dropping a 5-2 decision to get Thief River Falls/Goodridge on the board 12-3.
A forfeit to Luke Sailer made the score 18-3 Perham.
Apart from Ty Haverland's 6-3 decision over Cody Bannert at 145 pounds, the Prowlers would stake a claim to the match with four major decisions, a technical fall and a pin to arrive with a 30-21 lead at David Langlie's 189 pound battle with Ben Kucera.
Langlie outmaneuvered Kucera to a 5-4 lead after two periods. Langlie was in a must-win position. Points against would make a tie and criteria decision as the best possible outcome.
Langliee had two takedowns of Kucera near the mat boundary in the third period. The first one was ruled out of bounds to the chagrin of the local fan base and the Perham coaching staff. He scored on his second near the line to the erupting angst of Prowler fans in attendance and frustration was evident on the Prowler bench seeing the match close to slipping away.
Langlie held on for a 7-5-decision cutting the Prowler lead to six points, 30-24.
Nylander needed points. With Hein's free six awaiting, the match was technically tied at 30 and it was up to Nylander.
A takedown of Jon Erickson at 1:10 of the second period gave Nylander a slim 2-1 advantage. An Erickson escape knotted the score at deuces at the end of two periods.
Nylander was down to open the third and Erickson allowed him up for a free escape point and a 3-2 Nylander lead.
That's when the match got tense. Both wrestlers narrowly escaped being on their backs and the battle traversed the diameter of the circle.
Nylander would seize control 62 seconds into the third period and get the stick for the victory and tie the score at 30.
Hein would accept his forfeit giving the Yellowjackets the six-point victory.
Hein was recognized in pre-match festivities for his 100th win, a victory he got at the Dravis Duals in Staples over the weekend. His official win total is 103 after the forfeit.
Perham finished in second place behind favorite Frazee at the Heart O' Lakes conference championships. Frazee took the title with 287.5 points to Perham's 168.
Six Yellowjackets traversed the brackets to the finals, three taking home titles.
As expected, #2 ranked Hein scored a fall in the first period to claim victory at heavyweight.
Nylander, brimming with confidence after a huge victory to seal the win versus Thief River Falls, took the 215-pound title with a 7-4 decision.
James Harlow (103) scored an upset decision over Frazee's #10 ranked Isaac Schermerhorn, 8-5, for the third Jacket title.
Frazee wrestlers kept any more Yellowjackets from taking home championship titles.
For Perham, Lueders, Sailer and Langlie made it to the finals.
Lueders (119) lost a rematch with Frazee's Jordan Ketter. Lueders scored a dramatic victory two weeks ago defeating Ketter in the waning moments of their match.
Sailer (125) reached the championship final but was defeated by Hornet Tanner Ellenberg, 11-3.
Langlie (189) was pinned by Kody Lafraniere-Sorenson.
Perham 36, Thief River Falls/Goodridge 30
103: Sam Pirrotta (P) def. Steve Holecek, fall 1:59
112: James Haarlow (P) def. Spencer Horn, fall 1:35
119: Austin Hjelle (TRF) def. Brandon Lueders, 5-2
125: Luke Sailer (P), W-FF
130: Jacoby Bergeron (TRF) def. Josh Werner, 14-6
135: Chaz Abrahamson (TRF) def. Brady Sazama, 9-0
140: Holden Nelson (TRF) def. Jacob Monson, 18-9
145: Ty Haverland (P) def. Cody Bannert, 6-3
152: Nathaniel Holecek (TRF) def. Andrew Moberg, 18-4
160: Logan Alten (TRF) def. Gene Schleeter, 20-3
171: Craig Williams (TRF) def. Garrett Biegler, fall 5:40
189: David Langlie (P) def. Ben Kucera, 7-5
215: Cody Nylander (P) def. Jon Erickson, fall 5:02
HWT: Jesse Hein (P), W-FF
Heart O' Lakes Conference Championships Team scores: Frazee 287.5, Perham 168, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 113.5, United-Clay-Becker 108, Barnesville 103.5, West Central Area 97.5, Pelican Rapids 85, Breckenridge 83.
103: Harlow, P dec. I. Schermerhorn, F, 8-5
112: Stilke, F maj. dec. S. Brandt, B, 8-0
119: Ketter, F dec. Lueders, P, 6-1
125: Ellenberg, F maj. dec. Sailer, P, 11-3
130: Lemon, F maj. dec. Hirsch, B, 10-2
135: Cossette, PR, dec. M. Schermerhorn, F, 7-5
140: Koehnen, F tech fall, Martineau, WCA, 5:56
145: Nunn, F pin Bakken, PR, 2:56
152: Piper, F dec. Braseth, UCB 4-3
160: Erlandson, B pin Picop, WCA, 3:51
171: Johnson, DGF tech fall, Sandberg, F, 3:46
189: Lafraiere-Sorenson, F pin Langlie, P 3:08
215: Nylander, P dec. R. Brandt, F 7-4
285: Hein P, pin Pepper, UCB, 1:12.