BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WASHINGTON – What started out as a tight, physical dual wrestling meet Thursday night turned into a runaway conference win for the Fort Madison Bloodhounds.
The Hounds took on Washington on the road in the second conference meet of the year for Fort Madison.
Owen Kruse got things going for Fort Madison in the first match of the night battling the Demons’ Matt Collett to an 8-3 win at 120 lbs.
Kruse held a slim 2-1 lead after the first period scoring a reversal early, but Collett was able to roll up and out of Kruse’s grasp with :08 left in the period.
Kruse would start the 2nd period down and jump out for an escape for a quick 3-1 lead just five seconds into the match. Neither wrestler could get much going in the second period until Kruse seemed to have scored a take down just on the out circle in front of the Hound bench, but was awarded no points when the two slid out of bounds with :12 seconds left in the period.
On the restart, the senior grabbed up Collett and was able to trip him down at the buzzer for a two-point take down and a 5-1 lead through two. Collett was able to score a reversal off a down start to the third period to make it 5-3, but Kruse was able to pull away with an escape and a take down in the final minute for the win.
Gage Roberts won by forfeit at 126, and then Gavin Wiseman came in at 132 and got caught being aggressive and was twisted to the ground for a take down by Washington’s Brandon Dickel for a 2-0 lead. Dickel was then assessed a penalty point for a full-nelson hold. On the restart, Wiseman was able to escape to tie it at 2-2.
The sophomore would then record a take down with about a minute left in the first period. Dickel would get out from under Wiseman as he tried to maneuver him for a pin for a one-point escape for a 3-4 score. Wiseman would get another take down and then roll it into a pin with :05 on the clock.
“We knew they didn’t have a full lineup but the kids they did have were solid. That was going to be a good test for us at 120 and 132,” head coach Ryan Smith said.
“I knew we were going to get a good test there. (Kruse) and (Wiseman) both passed the test well, especially Gavin getting the pin over a tough kid. He just kept battling and did some nice things there.”
Will Larson stepped in at 138 and scored a take down 28 seconds in the match with the Demons’ Justin Simmering. After working Simmering to the edge of the mat, Larson was able to get a strong base and put Simmering’s shoulders on the mat.
Aidan Pennock stepped in against 2A’s 8th-ranked Dillon Sanders at 145 lbs. Pennock showed flashes in the early going of gaining an advantage, including an unexpected roll over Sanders who was trying to grab an ankle. But Sanders was just a bit quicker and was able to keep from getting compromised by the move and quickly got the match under control scoring a pin with :33 left in the first period, cutting into Fort Madison’s lead 21-6.
Washington would get its second pin of the night when Ayden Frazier took advantage of a Mason Schau grip slip in the first period of the 160 lb. match for a pin at 1:43. Nathan Steffensmeier and Levi Lowney both scored back-to-back pins at 170 and 182 to give Fort Madison a commanding 39-12 lead.
Bryce Britton and Colley Billingsley put on a show at 195. Billingsley got an early take down, but Britton almost escaped as time expired in the first period.
Britton scored a two-point reversal out of the down start in the second period to tie the match at 2-all. Britton wouldn’t be able to hold the position as Billingsley scored a reversal of his own for a 4-2 lead. He was then assessed a full-nelson penalty point for a 4-3 score just prior to the end of the second.
Billingsley would score another reversal and a take down after getting one of Britton’s legs in a standing position and executing a spin that had both wrestlers in the air with Billingsley coming down on top for an 8-3 lead.
With less than :10 left in the match, a gassed Britton almost rolled vertically over an equally tired Billingsley into a pin position, but Britton couldn’t hold the roll and time expired.
Diego Lozano and Danen Settles each won by forfeit at 220 and 285. Emmett Kruse slapped a quick :30 pin on Washington’s Jack Kleese at 106 and Matthew Steffensmeier won at 113 by forfeit for a 63-18 Fort Madison win.
“That’s two down and three to go,” Smith said of the Hounds conference record.
“If we stay healthy, that’s the key. We’ve got a full squad. We’ve got kids that are sick and injured, but we have kids that can step in and get the job done and that’s been huge for us.”
The Hounds are scheduled to travel to Iowa City Saturday morning for the Iowa City Duals.
Fort Madison (FOMA) 63.0 Washington (WASH) 18.0 120: Owen Kruse (FOMA) over Matt Collett (WASH) (Dec 8-3) 126: Gage Roberts (FOMA) over (WASH) (For.) 132: Gavin Wiseman (FOMA) over Brandon Dickel (WASH) (Fall 1:55) 138: Will Larson (FOMA) over Justin Simmering (WASH) (Fall 0:49) 145: Dillan Sanders (WASH) over Aidan Pennock (FOMA) (Fall 1:24) 152: Dawson Hunt (FOMA) over (WASH) (For.) 160: Ayden Frazier (WASH) over Mason Schau (FOMA) (Fall 1:43) 170: Nathan Steffensmeier (FOMA) over Jacob Hill (WASH) (Fall 1:24) 182: Levi Lowney (FOMA) over Curtis Stender (WASH) (Fall 1:54) 195: Colley Billingsley (WASH) over Bryce Britton (FOMA) (Fall 5:18) 220: Diego Lozano (FOMA) over (WASH) (For.) 285: Danen Settles (FOMA) over (WASH) (For.) 106: Emmett Kruse (FOMA) over Jack Kleese (WASH) (Fall 0:30) 113: Matthew Steffensmeier (FOMA) over (WASH) (For.)