Falcons Advance to Section Semifinals with Win Over Austin
The No. 2 seed Faribault Falcons defeated the Austin Packers 37-23 at Nomeland Gym on Thursday night in the quarterfinal round of the Section 1AAA wrestling tournament.
Before the match, Falcon head coach Jesse Armbruster told KDHL his team didn't really match up very well with Austin and it wasn't going to be easy.
He was right. It wasn't easy. But I always say anything worthwhile in life shouldn't be easy.
Armbruster was very proud of 106-pound eighth-grader Gael Ramirez for getting the night started right for his team with a 9-2 win over a junior.
After Austin won the 113-pound match, 120-pound freshman Riley Stoltz recorded a fall in 90 seconds against a senior. That was followed by a 57-second pin by sophomore Riley Reistad to give Faribault a 15-4 lead after the first three weights.
Austin junior Aiden Wilson then collected a pin at 132 pounds that began a four-match win streak for the Packers that gave them a four-point lead heading into 160 pounds.
Two of those matches were overtime losses for Faribault and Armbruster spoke as highly of those kids' efforts as the Falcons that got pins in the match, saying they were huge underdogs and wrestled until the final whistle. They were senior Ren Ross at 145 and freshman Dylan Lippert at 152.
Sophomore Josh Heyda got Faribault back on the winning track with a 3:45 pin at 160 pounds.
Austin picked up a major decision at 170 pounds to give them a 23-18 lead going into the final four weights.
The Falcons won three of the four to capture the win and advance to the semifinals on Saturday in Rochester. After a 14-6 win by Felipe Ramirez at 195, junior Austin Rendler got a fall in 1:25 over his senior opponent at 220 pounds to seal the win.
Dillon McEachran, ranked 10th in Class AAA at 285 pounds, defeated 19-win sophomore Elijah Marks to put the exclamation point on the hard-fought victory.
Austin finished their season 10-11 and the 16-6 Faribault Falcons go to Rochester on Saturday and wrestle No. 3 seed Rochester Mayo.
The semifinal is scheduled to begin at 3PM and Tom Weeks and John Anderson will have the broadcast on Power 96 Radio beginning about 2:45PM.
If the No. 2 seed Falcons win, they would wrestle the winner of Owatonna and Northfield for the title and a trip to state at 5PM.
The other semifinal features top seed Owatonna wrestling No. 5 seed Northfield. The Raiders defeated Farmington on the road 33-28 while Owatonna had no trouble with Rochester Century 62-12 after Century got by John Marshall 48-31.
In Section 1AA, La Crescent edged Cannon Falls 39-33 to advance to wrestle top seed and unbeaten Kasson-Mantorville. The defending state champion Komets beat the Lancers 81-0.
No. 4 seed Byron defeated Stewartville 42-30 in the Bears Den and wrestles K-M in the semifinals in Rochester at 11AM Saturday.
The other semifinal has No. 2 seed Albert Lea facing No. 3 seed Plainview-Elgin-Millville. The Tigers rolled to a 54-9 win over Winona and P-E-M beat Lewiston-Altura 39-22.
In Section 1A wrestling Thursday night, top seed Zumbrota-Mazeppa breezed to a 50-18 win over Grand Meadow after the Super Larks got by Lake City 37-32.
No. 5 seed Dover-Eyota beat Chatfield 42-21 after defeating Fillmore Central 57-10 and will wrestle Z-M in a 1PM semifinal in Rochester on Saturday.
The other semifinal features No. 2 seed Goodhue and No. 3 seed Wabasha-Kellogg. Goodhue rolled by St. Charles 61-15 after the Saints beat Pine Island 52-21. Wabasha-Kellogg got by defending Section 1A champion Caledonia 40-30 after the Warriors dominated Triton 68-9.
In Section 2A, top seed and defending state champion Kenyon-Wanamingo sent a message to the rest of the section with an 81-0 victory over New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva. The Panthers beat Medford 54-18 to advance to wrestle the Knights in the Castle.
Kenyon-Wanamingo will see Westfield in the semis at United South Central High School in Wells at 2PM Saturday. Westfield is Hayfield and Blooming Prairie and beat Le Sueur-Henderson 42-24 in Blooming Prairie. The championship is at 4PM.
No. 2 seed Blue Earth Area downed No. 3 seed Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Area 55-15 after LCWM cruised by St. Clair/Mankato Loyola 60-24.
In Section 2AA, top seed Scott West remained unbeaten after a 57-9 dominance of No. 8 seed Tri-City United. The Titans beat No. 9 seed Waterville-Elysian-Morristown 53-19 to earn the right to wrestle perennial power Scott West at 4PM Saturday in Jordan.
In the other semifinal, No. 2 seed Hutchinson will go up against No. 3 seed Waconia. Waconia advanced with a 49-18 win over St. Peter and Hutchinson dominated Waseca 75-6.
The championship is at 6PM in Jordan.