This year the Bulldogs faced Blue Earth Area in the first round, and, like last year, lost in the first round. However, this year they came back to win the next two matches and capture fifth place in Class AA team competition.
Paynesville also got revenge on HLOL-Jackson by beating them this year 31-22 for the consolation trophy. Friday evening, the Bulldogs defeated Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena 41-12 for the opportunity to wrestle Saturday.
Blue Earth Area
In the first round, the Bulldogs hit Blue Earth Area. The Bulldogs knew they must win matches with some bonus points if they wanted to win.
The match started off with an exciting 103-pound round; where Dave Kerzman almost beat Ty Eustice, who went onto become the 1997 103-pound state champ. A reversal by Eustice in the last three seconds gave Blue Earth the win 8-7. At 112 Blue Earth also had a state champ, Luke Eustice, and won by a major decision over Chris Welle.
After Blue Earth won at 119 by a decision, the Bulldogs won their first match when Roberg decisioned Jeremy Nagel 5-0 at 125 pounds. Roberg had lost in individuals to Nagel earlier in the day. This win pulled the score up to 10-3 in favor of Blue Earth.
Paynesville then gave up their forfeit at the 130 match and Stoneburner lost the 135-pound match by a decision. Paynesville won their second match at 140 when Colby Scheierl won 3-2. Blue Earth came back with a tech fall over Binsfeld at 145. The score was now 24-6.
Karl Sanborn then came up with a big win 7-2, but it was not enough as Blue Earth already had too big of a lead. Paynesville closed the match, after Blue Earth won at 160, by winning the last three matches-two with pins. Zach Welle got a pin at 171; Spates had a major decision at 189; and Hiltner pinned at heavyweight.
The final score was Blue Earth over Paynesville 29-25, sending the Bulldogs into the consolation series.
Blue Earth: 29
In the consolation round on Friday evening, the Bulldogs hit Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena. Paynesville cruised to a win in this match, winning 10 of the 13 matches, with a final score of 41-12.
Dave Kerzman started the Bulldogs off with a victory when he had another exciting match. Kerzman came out on top this time by taking his opponent down in the overtime period to give Paynesville the first win.
In another overtime match, Chris Welle lost by a takedown in the 112- pound match. Jeremy Reiter came back for the Bulldogs at 119 and won by a major decision to give Paynesville a 7-3 lead.
After the forfeit at 125, the Bulldogs won seven straight matches. Tim Roberg, Ryan Stoneburner, Andy Binsfeld, Colby Scheierl, Andy Heinen, Zach Welle, and Billy Stanger all recorded wins during that stretch.
BCLB won their final match at 189 when Jesse Spates was defeated in a close match 7-6 by Erik Johnson, who went on to win third place individually. Lee Hiltner closed the match with a pin in :52. The final score was 41-12.
In their last match on the quest for fifth place the Bulldogs faced Heron Lake-Okabena-Lakefield/Jackson Saturday evening. After the 171-pound match the score was tied at 22 all. Spates came through with a 9-2 win and Hiltner pinned at heavyweight to secure the consolation trophy for the Bulldogs with a 31-22 win.
Paynesville started the match off with two quick victories and took the lead by six. After the forfeit at 119, the score was tied, but then the Bulldogs won the next two matches and regained the lead with a score of 13-6.
The Jaguars won the next two matches and tied the score at 13, but Paynesville showed that it was not about to give up and won the next two matches. Scheierl won a 9-5 decision at 145 and Zach Welle recorded a pin at 152. After HLOL-Jackson won the next two matches to tie the score at 22-22, the Bulldogs won the final two matches to win by a score of 31-22.
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