Knights keep their edge on Jacket Wrestlers

Bluejackets rally by defeating Forest Lake at C-I Duals

In the key match to determine the 2012 Mississippi 8 Wrestling champions, host St. Michael-Albertville rallied from a 28-21 deficit by winning the last three matches, getting past Cambridge-Isanti 34-28 Jan. 20. The 4th-ranked Knights are now in position to claim their fourth-straight M-8 title.

Robbie Phillips used leverage and leaned back for a pin to overcome a 7-1 deficit in the 138 lb. match during the Jan. 20 battle at St. Michael.

The Friday night battle was high school athletics at its best, with good crowds on both sides of the gym and high energy out on the mat.

“It was a great show. I feel like this year’s team is one of the best we’ve ever had at Cambridge-Isanti. Unfortunately, St. Michael has one of its best teams ever, too,” said C-I Coach Neil Jennissen.

STMA opened with a 21-3 lead after the first five matches which included pins by top-ranked Tommy Thorn at 113 and 5th-ranked Mark Voss at 132. Senior Robbie Phillips began the Jacket rally with a surprising pin at 138 after being down to 6th-ranked Lincoln Mallinger 7-1.

“I didn’t start the match the way I wanted; he got a couple takedowns on me. I’ve been working on a defensive pin fall from the back that I try to practice a lot. I tried it out on the match, and it worked,” said Phillips. one of the 2012 Jacket co-captains.

Travis Holt at 152 kept the Jackets’ rally on track by cradling Knight Owen Gammell en route to a 17-1 tech fall. Holt is 24-5 on the season.

Fourth-ranked Bluejacket Ty Torgerson followed with a 3-1 decision over 7th-ranked Wayne Voss at 145, then 3rd-ranked Travis Holt and 2nd-ranked Cody Skog worked for convincing tech falls at 152 and 160. After Cole Bakke won 10-5 at 170 and 2nd-ranked Clayton Jennissen won 5-0 at 182, the Bluejackets gained the 28-21 edge.

Fourth-ranked Knight Mark Eull earned a third-period fall at 195, then STMA pulled back ahead 31-28 when reserve 220-pounder Bennie Wilson took a 14-5 major. The Knights’ 3rd-ranked Mark Kessler sealed the deal with a 5-0 shutout at 285, getting a takedown in both the second and third periods.

If the chips fall in the right place, the Bluejackets could get another crack at the Knights come the Section 7AAA Team Tourney.

“There’s going to be a lot of energy in the wrestling room. We’re going to be practicing hard all the way up to sections, and hopefully we can come back and beat them at sections,” projected Phillips.

M-8 Wrestling

St. Michael-Alb. 4-0, 14-4; Cambridge-Isanti 3-1, 18-4; Becker 2-1, 12-3; Monticello 2-2, 6-10; Rogers 1-2, 6-7; Big Lake 0-3, 3-6; Buffalo 0-3, 3-13.

Cody Skog worked for a tech fall at 160 in the St. Michael-Alb. dual, then he posted a 14-6 major at 152 in the win over Forest Lake.

Jackets 4-0 at C-I Duals

Needing to rally their spirits quickly, the Bluejacket grapplers returned to CIHS Saturday morning and rattled off four victories to defend the title at their own Cambridge-Isanti Duals. The big win came in the final match when the 6th-ranked Jackets defeated 3rd-ranked Forest Lake 34-22.

The Rangers got a fall from top-ranked Ben Morgan at 132 while building a 19-3 edge after six matches. C-I’s lone points in that stretch came when Tischer got two takedowns to defeat ranked Mike Pleski 5-2 at 126.

The Jackets got rolling when Torgerson won 9-3 at 145, then Skog followed with a 14-6 major at 152. Holt delivered a 14-4 major at 160, and Russell Laboe battled hard in an 11-6 decision won by FL’s Urban. Bakke bumped up to 182 for a third-period pin, then Jennissen’s 16-6 major pushed C-I into a 24-22 lead after 195. Dakota Johnson’s second-period fall sealed the victory, and Jon Knowlton finished strong with a 9-0 major at 285.

Also at the Duals, the Jackets beat St. Cloud Apollo 62-9, with more victories stacked up against injury-depleted Mora (71-0) and North Branch (56-15).