Perham took control of a wild, back-and-forth match with Frazee in the upper middleweights and held on for a tight 36-30 victory in front of a raucous, standing-room-only gymnasium at Frazee high school Friday night.
“We end up relying on 170, 182 and 195 quite a bit and it was no different tonight,” said Perham head coach Robb Moser.
Moser wrestled for Frazee head coach Clay Nagel and both coaches were appreciative of the incredible atmosphere created by the fans.
“It is a cool atmosphere for wrestling,” said Moser. “When you have something like this it’s a great way to showcase what’s going on. I also know it’s kind of rare but these towns have built this tradition. It’s not something that happened lately, you’ve got 50 years of people that have made it this way. It is special. It’s not like anything else that we’re a part of.”
“The atmosphere here is awesome,” said Nagel. “It really brings the boys together as a team and that’s what you need at the end of the year. You need 14 guys battling for each other.”
The lead changed hands five times between the 106-pound match and 170.
Perham’s Owen Werner picked up a technical fall shutout 15-0 over Christian Carlson to stake the Jackets to a 5-0 lead.
At 113, Frazee’s Michael Miller won a 9-6 decision over Dylan Johnson, but was matched by Perham’s Gabe Bellefeuille in a 4-0 victory over Landon Byer wrestling up at 120.
“I tell you what, you give Landon Byer another couple weeks to work on his size,” Nagel said. “He was a 113 and had to move up to 120. He’ll be much-improved. It’s going to take a good kid to beat him.”
Tanner Schermerhorn gave the Hornets their first lead 9-8 with a fall at 3:49 over Gareth Covington.
Kaden Hiemenz of Frazee won a tough 2-1 decision over Leighton Rach allowing a last-minute escape but responded with a takedown in the final 10 seconds to send the Hornet faithful into a frenzy leading the match 12-8.
“132 was a real fun match with Rach and give Kaden credit,” said Moser. “He pulled off a nice win there. That was one we were hoping we could get.”
Perham’s Jack Fudge snuffed that out with a second period pin of Carter Shipman to put Perham back up 14-12.
Dylan Fudge took down Ricky Roforth by fall at 2:21 to push the advantage to eight points.
“I thought our two Fudge guys at 38 and 45 looked awesome,” said Moser.
Hudson Hiemenz at 152 and Tanner Eischens at 160 had back-to-back Hornet victories to turn up the decibels in the gym. Hiemenz pinned Matt Bush in the second period and Eischens gave Frazee a 21-20 lead with a 4-1 decision over Wyatt Guck.
Perham’s Dawson Kellogg gave the Jackets the lead for good with a first period pin of Logan Wacker at 170. Zach Peterson scored often in a 22-4 tech fall over Brett Graham to push the lead to 10 points and Ty Moser (195) sealed the win with a 20-5 technical fall over Gabe Drewes.
“Both teams wrestled really, really hard and they just have a little more pinning power than we have and that’s the difference in the dual, but we love it,” Nagel said. “We want to wrestle at a high level at the end of the year. We don’t want any easy matches.”
Hornets Luke Tweeton and Tony Malikowski wrapped up the dual with victories, Tweeton a 4-1 decision over Jose Lopez and Malikowski had the quickest pin of the night in 54-seconds over Rowdie Lindquist.
“I love the consistency of this team but sometimes you see some mistakes,” said Moser. “Today, we made some youthful errors, but the good thing is we have two weeks of practice and we can work on those things.”
Perham wrapped up their regular season schedule and now prepares for a repeat run through Section 8AA.
“Our section is so doggone tough,” said Moser. “DL is a scary tough team. I never like wrestling Thief River at the end of the year. Pierz took second in the state last year, D-G-F, so we’re going to take one match at a time.”
Frazee finishes with Detroit Lakes Thursday, Feb. 8 at home.
“We had West Central (37-27 win), they’re ranked No. 5 in the state and DL, they’re a tough team,” said Nagel. “Our guys will be road-tested and ready to go.”
Frazee has won the last five Section 8A team titles and aims for a 25th trip to state.
Perham has been the 8AA champs the past three seasons.
Perham 36, Frazee 30
106 Owen Werner (PER) TF 15-0 over Christian Carlson (FRA)
113 Michael Miller (FRA) 9-6 dec. over Dylan Johnson (PER)
120 Gabe Bellefeuille (PER) 4-0 dec. over Landon Byer (FRA)
126 Tanner Schermerhorn (FRA) Fall 3:49 over Gareth Covington (PER)
132 Kaden Hiemenz (FRA) 2-1 dec. over Leighton Rach (PER)
138 Jack Fudge (PER) Fall 3:17 over Carter Shipman (FRA)
145 Dylan Fudge (PER) Fall 2:21 over Ricky Roforth (FRA)
152 Hudson Hiemenz (FRA) Fall 3:16 over Matt Bush (PER)
160 Tanner Eischens (FRA) 4-1 dec. over Wyatt Guck (PER)
170 Dawson Kellogg (PER) Fall 1:16 over Logan Wacker (FRA)
182 Zach Peterson (PER) TF 22-4 over Brett Graham (FRA)
195 Ty Moser (PER) TF 20-5 over Gabe Drewes (FRA)
220 Luke Tweeton (FRA) 4-1 dec. over Jose Lopez (PER)
285 Tony Malikowski (FRA) Fall 0:54 over Rowdie Lindquist (PER)