Pequot Lakes/Pine River-Backus Road Crew wrestling head coach Travis Hoffarth made a prediction on Jan. 31, after watching his team lose to Detroit Lakes 40-22.
“Thief River Falls defeated Detroit Lakes this year, and Detroit Lakes beat us tonight, so we may go into team Sections 8AA as a fourth seed,” Hoffarth said. “But I guess that doesn’t matter because we will have to wrestle (top seeded) Perham no matter if we’re fourth or second. If we have our full team, and they believe they can win, then we will be all right.”
Hoffarth’s prediction turned out true at the section team tournament on Saturday, Feb. 15, in Thief River Falls. The Road Crew opened with a 73-3 win over Sauk Centre, a 32-24 victory over Perham and then downed Detroit Lakes 40-23 for the first section title in program history.
The seventh-seeded Road Crew, 18-4 overall, advances to the Class AA state quarterfinals against No. 2 Foley at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Semifinals are at 1 p.m. with consolation matches at 5 p.m. and the championship at 7 p.m.
State tournament tickets are $9 for students and $14 for adults and are available in the PR-B and Pequot Lakes school offices. Fan bus information is available on prbschools.org home page. A team sendoff is planned for Wednesday, Feb. 26, at noon from PR-B and 1 p.m. from Pequot Lakes.
The Road Crew competes at the Section 8AA individual tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21-22, in Perham. The Class AA state individual competition starts on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Road Crew, which had also lost to Perham during the regular season, finally had a full lineup for the section tournament, including Jace Loge (hip surgery) and Nate Adkins (two concussions last fall).
Road Crew 73, Sauk Centre 3
The Road Crew had 10 pins against Sauk Centre. Anthony Philipson started off with a 9-4 victory. Isaac Manthel, Spencer Richards and Brandon Mager all had quick pins. Nate Adkins then suffered a 4-3 overtime loss.
The next three wrestlers, Triston Rubner, Dillon Nichols and Loge all won by fall while Nick Gravdahl dominated with a major decision. Ozzy Miller was ahead in the 170-pound match with six takedowns and near fall points when he got his pin at 3:34. Justin Mackenthun won with a pin at 3:50 and Chris Foster won by forfeit.
Cadel Roeder was taken down at the start of the match, but came back with a pin and heavyweight Jared Adkins finished the match with a quick pin.
Road Crew 32, Perham 24
The next opponent was Perham, the team that the Road Crew coaches knew was a key match in order to make state. The Road Crew lost to the Yellowjackets 35-15 last month.
“We lost at 106 the last time we met (Perham), but this time Anthony Philipson ended up with a pin,” Hoffarth said. “Isaac Manthel was on his back in overtime (losing 6-1), but he didn’t get pinned, and that helped.”
Richards then lost a close 2-0 match against a respected foe, and Mager fell 9-3. Nate Adkins was ahead 3-0 going into the third period when he was taken down and was put on his back.
“This was a much-needed win,” Hoffarth said. “Nate came back, escaped and got a takedown with 30 seconds remaining.”
Adkins earned a 6-5 decision and Rubner dominated and won a major decision. Nichols found himself on his back in the first period, but fought back and didn’t give up pinning points and lost, but the Road Crew did lead the match 13-12.
Loge had his opponent on his back in the first period, and won a close decision. Nick Gravdahl gave up two escapes but also won. Miller was all business as he got a quick pin. Justin Nuemann was pinned, but Mackenthun came back with a decision to put the Road Crew in front 29-18. Roeder was pinned, but Jared Adkins came back with a 2-0 win in the heavyweight match.
Road Crew 40,
Detroit Lakes 23
Last year, the Road Crew was upset by the Lakers 33-22 in the section semifinals. But on Saturday, they had a good start with five wins in the first six matches. The Lakers won the next three matches by decision before the Road Crew bounced back with three wins, including two pins.
Philipson opened with a pin and Manthel and Richards won by decision. Mager won with five takedowns and an escape, and Nate Adkins lost in overtime.
Rubner won with a quick and Loge lost 10-3. Nick Gravdahl lost 20-8 despite getting eight escape points. Joe Harrison lost a close 11-8 decision, and Justin Neumann won by injury default.
Miller and Mackenthun had quick pins, but Roeder then lost by fall. Jared Adkins was edged by James Huwe 3-0 in a battle of ranked wrestlers.
PL/PRB 40, Detroit Lakes 23
106: Anthony Philipson (PLPRB) pinned Braydon Ortloff 1:05
113: Isaac Manthei (PLPRB) dec. Payton Jackson 8-3
120: Spencer Richards (PLPRB) dec. Austin Baker 9-1
126: Brandon Mager (PLPRB) dec. Logan Twigg 11-5
132: Luke Payne (DL) dec. Nate Adkins 4-2
138: Triston Rubner (PLPRB) pinned Bryant Swiers :54
145: Nathan Francis (DL) dec. Jace Loge 11-2
152: Parker Jackson (DL) Maj. dec. Nick Gravdahl 20-8
160: Jarrett Nosal (DL) dec. Joe Harrison 11-8
170: Justin Neumann (PLPRB) default over Ryan Jacobson
182: Ozzie Miller (PLPRB) pinned Tanner Schnathorst :40
195: Justin Mackenthun (PLPRB) pinned Cole Hegg :19
220: Kirby Siewert (DL) pinned Cadel Roeder 5:02
285: James Huwe (DL) dec. Jared Adkins 3-0
PL/PRB 32, Perham 24
106: Philipson (PLPRB) pinned Dylan Fudge 3:23
113: Ben Nelson (P) dec. Manthei 3-1
120: Chase Curtis (P) dec. Richards 2-0
126: Sam Pirrotta (P) dec. Mager 9-3
132: Nate Adkins (PLPRB) dec. Tyler Fudge 6-5
138: Rubner (PLPRB) Maj. dec Dylan Perrine 11-0
145: Colin Neitzke (P) dec. Nichols 11-4
152: Loge (PLPRB) dec. Austin Schultz 7-4
160: Nick Gravdahl (PLPRB) dec. Patrick Glynn 7-2
170: Miller (PLPRB) pinned Cole Schmitz :59
182: William Park (P) pinned Neumann 3:16
195: Mackenthun (PLPRB) dec. Jesse Klatt 10-2
220: Trent Jahnlce (P) pinned Roeder 2:30
285: Jared Adkins (PLPRB) dec. Jesse Bucholtz 2-0
PL/PRB 73, Sauk Centre 3
106: Philipson (PLPRB) dec. Antonio Ortiz 9-4
113: Manthei (PLPRB) pinned Jordan Winter :56
120: Richards (PLPRB) pinned Nestor Vasquez :34
126: Mager (PLPRB) pinned Kolton Kuhlman :41
132: Will Funk (SC) dec. Nate Adkins 4-3
138: Rubner (PLPRB) pinned Luke Glasener 1:17
145: Nichols (PLPRB) pinned Mitchell Wolbeck :27
152: Loge (PLPRB) pinned Rodrigo Milla 1:29
160: Nick Gravdahl (PLPRB) Maj. dec. Dalton Reinke 17-6
170: Miller (PLPRB) pinned Bryce Stalboerger 3:34
182: Mackenthun (PLPRB) pinned Artruo Stefanoni 3:34
195: Chris Foster (PLPRB) wins by forfeit
220: Roder (PLPRB) pinned Jimmy Thomas 3:50
285: Jared Adkins (PLPRB) pinned Charlie Barhorst :50