Wrestlers roll past Little Rock 30-9

Brenner wins in last second takedown

The North Dakota State University wrestlers began another homestand at Scheel Center with a decisive 30-9 win over the Little Rock Trojans (1-12, 0-4 Pac 12) on Friday night. The Bison, led by two falls and a technical fall, moved to 9-3 overall and 4-3 in the Big 12 conference.

Leading off with Jared Franek’s workmanlike technical fall of Little Rock’s Austin Keal at 157, the Bison went 5-0 in the matches heading into intermission. Franek, from West Fargo, ND, and the No. 6 ranked 157-pounder in the nation, made quick work of Keal. Leading 6-0 after the first period and 12-1 after the second, Franek ended the match with 1:40 left in third, when another takedown put him up 16-1 to earn the technical fall. Luke Weber ranked #13 at 165, then dispatched the Trojans Tyler Brennan 6-1. Following Weber was the Herd’s Austin Brenner, winning 9-8, and DJ Parker beating Tanner Mendoza by a major decision 10-0. Then Owen Pentz did what he does best for the Bison and pinned Little Rock’s Brooks Sacharycyzk just 1:19 into the opening period. Pentz recorded the 16th pin of his career and moved to 15-5 on the season. The sophomore from Morgan, Utah is now tied with Maryland’s King Sandoval for the D1 lead in pins with 11.

Brenner, the junior from St. Cloud, Minn., making his first appearance in the lineup since Jan. 22 at Northern Iowa, won in stunning fashion. Losing to Wills 6-1 at the end of the first period, Brenner finished the amazing comeback with just seconds left in the match. Late in the third period, Brenner let Wills up giving him an escape and a one-point lead at 8-7. Then at the 1-second mark, Brenner forced a takedown on Wills to win 9-8 bringing the Bison faithful to their feet. “It felt great to get back on the mat,” Brenner said. “Super exciting dual and happy to be competing again with the guys. Sitting out is never fun.” When Brenner let Wills up for the easy escape, he knew his only chance to win was to get a takedown. “A couple of my past matches, UNI and Wyoming, I needed a takedown at the end of the match and ended up not getting it…it’s good to see a little growth and being able to find my offense late in a match.”

That win put the Bison up 21-0 at the intermission. Little Rock won three of the five matches after the break, but a pin by NDSU’s Kellyn March at 133 pounds put the Bison up 27-6 and the match was now out of reach.

The Bison continue their homestand 2 p.m. Sunday at Scheels Center facing the Bears of Northern Colorado.

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