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Perham falls to Foley, rebounds with win over Worthington

Perham's Zach Peterson works to get the shoulders of Foley's Simon Bryce to the mat for the fall during their Class AA Quarterfinal match at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Jason Groth/FOCUS1 / 2
Perham's Dylan Fudge torques on the arm of Foley's Austin Loehrer during their Class AA Quarterfinal match. Jason Groth/FOCUS2 / 2

For the third straight year, the Perham Yellowjackets will have the opportunity to finish the season with a pair of wins. The Yellowjackets were defeated by Foley, 32-23, in the quarterfinals, but rebounded with a convincing win over Worthington, 58-7, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

“I thought the kids looked really good against Worthington,” Perham head coach Robb Moser said. “Dylan Johnson had a great win at 106 and it was great momentum all the way through. I thought the kids looked really good. We were excited with how aggressive and how focused they were. It put us in position to win two matches down here.”

The Yellowjackets will wrestle at 5 p.m. today against Grand Rapids, seeking their third straight consolation championship. While the ultimate goal for the Yellowjackets was to advance to the championship round, they realize it’s an opportunity to end their season with a win.

“It’s not what we wanted at the start of the year, but it’s still a great opportunity,” Moser said. “It shows how far that the program has come. We have a shot at a consolation title and having two wins down here again and the feeling that the kids are sad about it, tells you the expectations are pretty high. Rare is it that you have a program that expectations are fifth place isn’t good enough year after year. I’m proud of the kids for working their butt off and being disappointed, but it was a championship effort coming back.”

The Yellowjackets picked up bonus points in nine of their 14 matches with Worthington. Dylan Johnson, Patrick Johnson, Gage Paurus, Dawson Kellogg, Ty Moser and Roo Schmitz won by fall against Worthington, while Owen Werner and Ben Nelson picked up major decision wins. Jack Fudge won by technical fall, while Zach Peterson, Evan Guck and Jonathan Staebler earned wins by decision.

Not too many teams have been able to get a run on the Yellowjackets during the 2016-17 wrestling season, but the Foley Falcons were one of them. The Falcons captured the first four matches, including a key fall at 113. It helped them earn a 16-0 lead. However, Perham rallied back, cutting the deficit to one point, yet the Falcons had a pair of weapons waiting in the wings in Saylor Schmit and Mitch Trigg, helping them pull out the quarterfinal win.

“They didn’t wrestle bad against Foley. We had a big swing at 113 which was a controversial move. It was a huge swing. We went from a major decision to being caught and pinned,” Moser said. “We made a nice comeback at the end, but it we were a little short. It was fun and we knew they were going to be good. The positive side is we had a great match against Worthington and have a chance to stamp the end of the season with a win.”

Patrick Johnson earned a decision win for Perham, 13-8, picking up the first points for the Yellowjackets. Dylan Fudge followed with a decision as well, 3-1, cutting the lead to 16-6.

After a trio of Foley decision wins, Perham’s Zach Peterson started the comeback with a fall win. His pin was followed by a fall by Dawson Kellogg, moving the team score to 25-18. Ty Moser followed with a technical fall win, cutting the Foley lead to two. However, Foley closed out with a major decision win at 220 and a decision win at 285 for the final margin.

The Yellowjackets sit at 29-2 and will wrestle Grand Rapids at 5 p.m. The Yellowjackets and the Thunderhawks met earlier in the year with Perham winning the match, 47-19.

“We don’t know a lot. We wrestled them before and beat them pretty handily, but that was early January,” Moser said. “I don’t think we wrestled that particularly well when we saw them, but our kids will be ready. They have some horses down low and I think we will be able to make hay way up top. Where they are tough in the middle, we are pretty doggone solid, too.”

Perham 58

Worthington 7

106: Dylan Johnson (PER) def. Erik Artiga (WORTH) (Fall 5:55)

113: Owen Werner (PER) def. Damon Schutz (WORTH) (Maj. Dec. 9-1)

120: Jacob Prunty (WORTH) def. Noah Rooney (PER) (Maj. Dec. 9-1)

126: Jack Fudge (PER) def. Lay K Paw (WORTH) (Tech Fall 20-3)

132: Ben Nelson (PER) def. Alex Magana (WORTH) (Maj. Dec. 8-0)

138: Patrick Johnson (PER) def. Ethan Pavelko (WORTH) (Fall 4:17)

145: Gage Paurus (PER) def. Preston Anderson (WORTH) (Fall 3:08)

152: Braydon Dunkersloot (WORTH) def. Wyatt Guck (PER) (SV-1, 3-1)

160: Evan Guck (PER) def. Jacob Neuberger (WORTH) (Dec. 5-0)

170: Zach Peterson (PER) def. Mason Byrne (WORTH) (Dec. 3-1)

182: Dawson Kellog (PER) def. Vince Riley (WORTH) (Fall 2:55)

195: Ty Moser (PER) def. Marcos Herrera (WORTH) (Fall 5:33)

220: Ryan Schmitz (PER) def. Adam Russell (WORTH) (Fall 1:27)

285: Jonathan Staebler (PER) def. Nic Putnam (WORTH) (Dec. 3-2)

Foley 32

Perham 23

106: Nathan Garceau (FOL) def. Owen Werner (PER) (Dec 7-1)

113: Dylan Young (FOL) def. Gabe Bellefeuille (PER) (Fall 3:01)

120: Ryan Dunlap (FOL) def. Leighton Rach (PER) (Dec. 3-0)

126: Cameron Kowitz (FOL) def. Jack Fudge (PER) (Maj. Dec. 12-2)

132: Patrick Johnson (PER) def. John Dierkes (FOL) (Dec. 13-8)

138: Dylan Fudge (PER) def. Austin Loehrer (FOL) (Dec. 3-1)

146: Mitch Rothfork (FOL) def. Wyatt Guck (PER) (Dec. 9-3)

152: Justin Henry (FOL) def. Gage Paurus (PER) (Dec. 7-6)

160: Noah Lefebvre (FOL) Def. Evan Guck (PER) (Dec. 6-3)

170: Zach Peterson (PER) def. Simon Bryce (FOL) (Fall 3:01)

182: Dawson Kellogg (PER) def. Driston Schyma (FOL) (Fall 4:16)

195: Ty Moser (PER) def. Carter Svihla (FOL) (Tech Fall 23-8)

220: Saylor Schmit (FOL) def. Roo Schmitz (PER) (Maj. Dec. 11-1)

285: Mitch Trigg (FOL) def. Johnathan Staebler (PER) (Dec. 5-0)

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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