MSU wrestling nearly upsets No. 14 Augustana on Senior Day

Alex Eisen/MDN Minot State senior Jered Sublet (red) defeats Augustana's Jebben Keyes (bottom) in his final collegiate home match Sunday at the MSU Dome.

In his final grapple inside the Minot State Dome, senior Jered Sublet walked off the mat victorious with a 9-6 decision over Jebben Keyes and put the Beavers up 12-0 three matches into the dual.

The Minot State wrestling team had Senior Day momentum on its side Sunday and placed the pressure on No. 14-ranked Augustana to respond.

The Vikings (5-3, 4-3 NSIC) recovered with five wins (two via pins) in the dual to secure a narrow 21-18 road win over the Beavers (5-10, 2-6 NSIC).

“I thought we had a chance at 149, 157 and 165,” MSU head coach Evan Forde said. “Those three right in the middle, we knew we had to win one of those. We didn’t quite find that win. They spotted us three bonus points, but we gave them six. That was the difference in the dual.”

MSU’s Dean Arevalo got things going with a 10-7 decision win at 125 to open the dual. Augustana then forfeited 133 to Oscar Nellis and then Sublet had his shining moment.

Fellow senior Tanner Crissler wasn’t as fortunate, as he lost a 8-5 decision at 149. That loss started a string of four straight wins for Augustana, which ended with Lukas Poloncic pinning MSU senior Anthony Raupp in the third round.

It wasn’t the Senior Night that Crissler or Raupp would have hoped for, but both left everything on the mat.

“Those guys have been great,” Forde said about his three seniors. “Great guys to coach because they work hard and they are always trying to get better. Great individuals and team leaders. It’s a little bittersweet.”

MSU’s Keegan Berry battled to a 5-1 decision win at 184 to even the score at 15-15 with two matches to go.

A second-round pin by Augustana’s Clayton Wahlstrom on Je-Mario Jones at 197 put heavyweight Jordan Will in a tough spot — needing a pin answer.

Matt Naig stayed upright for a majority of the 285-pound match and absorbed Will’s consistent takedown attempts.

While Will managed to secure a three-point win, 3-0, the final dual score remained in Augustana’s favor by three points, 21-18.

“That’s the No. 14-ranked team in the nation and I keep telling my guys we are closer than they might realize for us to be one of those top teams in the nation,” Forde said. “This is like a whole different team out there right now (compared to the start of the season). And you can see it… This was a good weekend for us.”

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.