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Perham storms by Moorhead in home opener

Perham's Jack Fudge lifts Moorhead's Keenan Wendt up and drives him down on the mat for the take down during Fudge's victory at 138. Jason Groth/FOCUS

The fifth-ranked Class AA Perham wrestling team showcased its dominance in a battle of state participants from the 2016-17 season. The Yellowjackets cruised to a 49-19 victory over the Moorhead Spuds in their dual meet home opener on Dec. 5.

“It’s fun to be home. We don’t get very many home matches and to have a big crowd like we did was a cool experience for the kids,” Perham head coach Robb Moser said. “We are not at midseason form yet and that’s very evident right now. I think a lot of teams are struggling with that right now.  We are logging some matches, which is what you want to do. I’m proud of the kids and it was a good atmosphere for them.”

The Yellowjackets never trailed in the dual meet and picked up wins in 10 of the 13 matches with four fall victories.

Gabe Bellefeuille

The night featured several exciting matches including one that featured a former Perham athlete. Dylan Fudge defeated Kolbe Booker in a match that went down to the wire. Fudge earned a 9-6 decision win, holding on in the third period. Moser said Booker was an excellent wrestler and that it was the marquee match of the night.

“I was really impressed with how Dylan carried himself and how he won,” Moser said. “It was kind of crazy at the end, but up until then, I thought he wrestled excellently.”

Blaze Brady started things out with a quick pin of Evan Frankhanel. Brady has made an impact since moving into the lineup and big things are expected of him.

“He has been lighting it up. He is long and wiry,” Moser said. “I think he is going to do some exceptional things for us at 106. For a new guy in our lineup, he is really making some noise.”                                                                           

Brady, Gabe Bellefeuille, Zach Peterson and Ty Moser captured fall victories for Perham. Jack Fudge, Wyatt Guck and Dawson Kellogg earned major decision wins, while Leighton Rach earned a win by decision. Dylan Johnson was victorious by forfeit for Perham as well.

Leighton Rach

One of the matches that had the crowd on its feet throughout was at 126. Moorhead’s Xander Risdahl and Perham’s Ezekiel Pechtel put on a scoring display. The two went back and forth throughout their match, but it was Risdahl earning the fall win late in the third period. Risdahl held a 17-15 lead before securing the fall.

It was a start to a very busy week for the Yellowjackets. They take to the road for a triangular meet with Bemidji and Thief River Falls on Thursday, before traveling to Grand Forks for a two-day dual meet tournament on Friday and Saturday.

“Thief is always really good. They always have a solid team. I’m excited about that matchup. Bemidji is always good team and there will be some wonderful matchups,” Moser said. “In Grand Forks, we are going to run into some North Dakota teams and that’s fun. It’s match after match.”

After the weekend tournament, Perham returns to action with Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and Pelican Rapids. The Yellowjackets will wrestle nine to 10 matches in a week’s time.

Perham 49

Moorhead 19

106 Blaze Brady (PER) def. Evan Frankhanel (MH) (Fall :58)

113: Dylan Johnson (PER) wins by forfeit

120: Ryan Luthi (MH) def. Owen Werner (PER) (Dec. 3-2)

126: Xander Risdahl (MH) def. Ezekiel Pechtel (PER) (Fall 6:00)

132: Gabe Bellefeuille (PER) def. Tyler Gobernatz (MH) (Fall 2:53)

138: Jack Fudge (PER) def. Keenan Wendt (MH) (Maj. Dec. 18-4)

145: Leighton Rach (PER) def. Brady Behrens (MH) (Dec. 7-2)

152: Dylan Fudge (PER) def. Kolbe Booker (MH) (Dec. 9-6)

160: Wyatt Guck (PER) def. Hayden Netland (MH) (Maj. Dec. 9-1)

170: Clay Hall (MH) def. Colton Hackel (PER) (Maj. Dec. 10-1)

182: Dawson Kellogg (PER) def. Jacob Larson (MH) (Maj. Dec. 12-3)

195: Zach Peterson (PER) def. Deion Larry (MH) (Fall 3:56)

220: Ty Moser (PER) def. Landon Berry (MH) (Fall 1:14)

285: Gunnar Olstad (MH) def. Colton Kostynick (PER) (Fall 3:21)

Jason Groth

 Groth is a Minnesota Newspaper Association award-winning Sports Editor of the Perham Focus and the Wadena Pioneer Journal. Groth worked in Grand Rapids as the Sports Director at KOZY/KMFY radio for two years and prior to that he was the Sports Editor/Writer for the Grand Rapids Herald-Review for seven years. 

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