Paynesville wrestled Sauk Centre first. Dave Kerzman and Chris Welle gave the Bulldogs a lead of 10 points after the first two matches were done. Sauk came back though, and won the 119-pound match in a very exciting dual where Josh Frenchick almost came from behind to pin his opponent.
Paynesville won the next four matches: two by pins, one by a tech fall, and one by a major decision. This gave Paynesville a big lead, one that they never gave up.
After Sauk Centre won the next two matches, Zach Welle came back for the Bulldogs and recorded a pin. Sauk won again at 171, but the Bulldogs finished the match off with a major decision and a pin, putting the score at 47-14.
This qualified the Bulldogs to wrestle on Friday at Litchfield for the Section finals.
Sauk Centre: 14
The Bulldogs faced Dassel-Cokato in the first round on Friday, and, once again, the two bottom weights gave Paynesville a quick lead as they both recorded pins.
The Chargers came back strong in the next two matches and brought the score to 12-9; it looked like it would be a very close match.
The Bulldogs then went on a run by winning the next five matches, which put the score at 33-9, as Ryan Stoneburner, Tim Roberg, and Andy Binsfeld won by decisions, and Colby Scheierl and Zach Welle recorded pins.
After the Chargers won the next two, the Bulldogs closed it off by winning the last two remaining matches. The final score was 42-18.
This put the Bulldogs against Litchfield who had previously beaten Rocori.
Unlike most matches, the Bulldogs were down 3-0 after the 103-pound match. Chris Welle came back with a pin to give the Bulldogs a lead of 6-3. Josh Frenchick motivated the team by turning his opponent in the last ten seconds of his match and tieing the score up to allow the match to go into overtime. Frenchick then took his opponent down and won the match by a score of 9-7.
The Bulldogs chose to forfeit the 125- pound weight class, and that brought the score to 9-9. The Bulldogs won the next three matches to bring the score to 21-9.
Litchfield came back with a major decision, but Paynesville, not willing to give up, won the next two. One was a very exciting match in which Andy Heinen won in the last seconds, when he reversed his opponent for the win.
Litchfield won their last match of the night at the 171-pound weight class, and the Bulldogs won the remaining two matches to put the score at 37-16.
This qualified the team to wrestle at state Feb. 27-March 1.
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