Road Crew tied for consolation title
The Pequot Lakes/Pine River Backus Road Crew tied the fourth-seeded Totino-Grace of Fridley Eagles 34-34 to share the consolation championship in their first appearance at the Class AA state wrestling tournament on Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
The Road Crew, who finish 19-5-1 overall, had two wrestlers win all three matches - Anthony Philipson at 106 pounds and Triston Rubner at 138. But the biggest win of the day was by Jared Adkins in the heavyweight match after the Road Crew had trailed 34-31. Adkins won 5-2 in triple overtime over Sam Anderson to tie the match and earn a share of fifth place.
“We showed that we can wrestle with anyone if we believe in ourselves,” Road Crew head coach Travis Hoffarth said of his team’s performance at state. “They say a tie is ‘like kissing your sister,’ but to tie for the consolation title in your first trip to state is pretty nice. I’m proud of our kids. We battled back all year.”
The Road Crew and Totino-Grace traded wins in the first five matches and the Road Crew led 13-10. Early winners for the Road Crew were Philipson with a decision, Spencer Richards a technical fall and Nate Adkins a 10-2 decision. Rubner’s pin and Jace Loge’s major decision gave the Road Crew a 22-10 lead. Nick Gravdahl had a key victory at 145 when his two-point reversal in the final seconds resulted in an 8-7 win.
“Jace (Loge) had a big win,” Hoffarth said. “On paper, his match was a toss-up. We knew we would need that win and build up a lead because (Totino-Grace) is tough at the upper weights.”
The Eagles began to rally with four pins in the next five matches. After Joe Harrison was pinned in the 160 match, the Road Crew’s Ozzie Miller bounced back with a fall in 4:23 in the next match. Totino-Grace then had three straight pins to assume a 34-31 lead. That set up the dramatic heavyweight match where Adkins led 1-0 before Anderson tied it with an escape with 15 seconds left. After two scoreless overtime periods, Adkins then scored four points in the third overtime to win.
“That was probably my biggest match ever,” Adkins said. “(Anderson) was a section champion. And I will face him tomorrow in the first round of individuals.”
In the consolation semifinals, the Road Crew advanced over Milaca/Faith Christian with a 29-28 victory by criteria with eight individual wins after the match was tied.
The Road Crew led 15-4 after a 6-4 overtime win by Rubner at 138. The Road Crew later led 24-7 after Gravdahl’s 4-2 decision at 152, and Joe Harrison 4-0 win at 160. But the Wolves rallied by winning the next two matches to cut the deficit to 24-19. Justin Mackenthun answered for the Road Crew with a 10-2 major decision that extended the lead to 28-19 with two matches remaining.
Colton Sailor pinned the Road Crew’s Cadel Roeder in 3:43 and Milaca trailed 28-25. The Wolves’ Brandon Merten edged Jared Adkins 5-3, but that only tied the match.
“We knew we had (the criteria tiebreaker) as long as Jared didn’t give up a major decision,” Hoffarth said. “Our original goal was the make it to state. Once we got here, our goal was to place. And we did that by defeating Milaca.”
In the quarterfinals against second-seeded Foley, the Road Crew won the opening match as Philipson earned a 6-3 decision. The Road Crew then dropped the next four decisions and trailed 13-3. Rubner had a pin in the final 24 seconds of his match to stop the momentum.
But the Falcons came back by winning the next four matches for a 29-9 lead. Mackenthun started a rally for the Road Crew with a pin in 3:37. Following a Foley pin, the Road Crew finished strong with pins by Roeder and Jared Adkins.
“I thought we had an opportunity to win more of the lower weight matches, but our kids continued to battle back with pins,” Hoffarth said. “Cadel (Roeder) had one of the biggest pins of his career.”
Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 27
106: Anthony Philipson (PLPRB) dec. Noah Lefebvre 6-3
113: Mitch Rothfork (F) dec. Isaac Manthei 2-0
120: Taylor Jurek (F) dec. Spencer Richards 6-0
126: Tyler Funk (F) maj. dec. Brandon Mager 11-2
132: Logan Lunde (F) dec. Nate Adkins PLPRB) 7-1
138: Triston Rubner (PLPRB) pinned John Gehling 5:36
145: Brandon Halverson (F) maj. dec. Jace Loge 10-2
152: Carter Nielsen (F) tech. fall Dillon Nichols 5:50
160: John Garceau (F) dec. Nick Gravdahl 4-2 ot
170: Luke Kelvington (F) maj. dec. Ozzie Miller 12-3
182: Justin Mackenthun (PLPRB) pinned Tyler Midas 3:37
195: Mitchell Struffert (F) pinned Chris Foster 2:13
220: Cadel Roeder (PLPRB) pinned Mitch Keeler :22
285: Jared Adkins (PLPRB) pinned AJ Belanger 3:44
Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 29,
Milaca/Faith Christian 28
(PLPRB wins via criteria -- most wins)
106: Philipson (PLPRB) dec. Jon Hall 4-3
113: Manthei (PLPRB) pinned Logan Majerus 1:29
120: Ray Hoffman (M) maj. dec. Richards 11-3
126: Mager (PLPRB) dec. Mason Hopkins 1-0
132: Nate Adkins (PLPRB) dec. Kyle Starr 5-0
138: Rubner (PLPRB) dec. Dru Kuchenbaker 6-4 ot
145: Jack Barsody (M) dec. Loge 7-2
152: Gravdahl (PLPRB) dec. Aaron Moscho 4-2
160: Joe Harrison (PLPRB) dec. Jorgen Erickson 4-0
170: Josh Otten (M) pinned Miller 5:01
182: Austin Weidner (M) pinned Justin Neumann 3:32
195: Mackenthun (PLPRB) maj. dec. Zach Peterson 10-2
220: Colton Sailor (M) pinned Roeder 3:43
285: Brandon Merten (M) dec. Jared Adkins 5-3
Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus 34, Totino Grace 34 (tie)
106: Philipson (PLPRB) dec. Michael Menth 13-0
113: Jaxon Sommers (TG) pinned Manthei 2:58
120: Richards (PLPRB) tech. fall over Nathan Downey 19-2
126: Christian Bahl (TG) dec. Mager 15-1
132: Nate Adkins (PLPRB) dec. Carter Walch 10-2
138: Rubner (PLPRB) pinned Gayflor Flomo 2:43
145: Loge (PLPRB) dec. Pierce Rothenbacher 9-2
152: Gravdahl (PLPRB) dec. Walker Thiele 8-7
160: Jared Florell (TG) pinned Harrison 2:43
170: Miller (PLPRB) pinned Brady Bertram 4:32
182: Isaac Florell (TG) pinned Mackenthun 2:49
195: Kez Flomo (TG) pinned Foster :40
220: Lance Benick (TG) pinned Roeder :19
285: Jared Adkins (PLPRB) dec. Sam Anderson 5-2 (3 ot)