06 December 2013

Wrestling: Raiders rally past Tigers 40-18

Matt Rustad scored a second period fall in the 132-pound bout (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Through five matches things were looking rosy for the Tigers in Friday night's non-conference dual meet with state-ranked Hastings at FHS.

Farmington claimed four of the first five bouts and with the Raiders losing two team points to unsportsmanship-like conduct infractions, the home team was on the right side of an 18-1 count.

But that would do it for the Tigers for the rest of the night as the Raiders, who had five state top-ten ranked individuals in their lineup, reeled of eight straight wins to take control.

Victor Gliva got the home crowd excited early with a solid 8-4 victory in the 106 lbs. bout. Skyler Raymond competed well in a 10-3 loss at 113 lbs. before the Tigers won three straight to take their big lead.

Jamin LeDuc started the run with a 6-2 decision in the 120 lbs. match and defending state champion Taylor Venz followed with a first period pin of the Raiders' Kyle Erickson. Matt Rustad made it three straight with a second period fall over Cody LeFlay for the last Farmington win of the night.

"I was feeling good after the first five matches but I also knew what was coming up," Tiger coach Chad Olson said of Hastings' dominant middle weights.

"We wrestled OK overall. I would have liked to have seen a few more points on our side of the scoreboard, but they (Hastings) are tough. We now have a pretty good idea of things we need to work on."

One thing Olson liked about his team's performance was its ability to not give up bonus points. The Raiders did finish with three pins but the Tigers had two of their own.

"We also had three starters--Jacob Gabbard, John Walz and Chris McCue--out tonight," Olson said, "so all in all, we competed pretty well."

Next Friday the Tigers entertain TCU (Tri-City United) before heading to Prior Lake on Saturday for what Olson termed a "grinder" of an invitational tournament at which several state-ranked teams will be participating.

"When we get to the section, we will have to wrestle back-to-back days," Olson said, "so this is good preparation for us. It's only December and going up against these good teams will only make us better."