It's All About The Bonus Points

Junior Justice Davis had three pin falls and helped the Cobbers win three matches at the Desert Duals in Las Vegas.
Junior Justice Davis had three pin falls and helped the Cobbers win three matches at the Desert Duals in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (12/21/15)—It was all about the bonus points in No.19-ranked Concordia's three matches at the Desert Duals in Las Vegas. The Cobbers used nine pin falls to win three matches – two of which came against teams ranked in the top 15 of the nation – and push their dual-meet record to 10-1 on the season.

Concordia won 17 individual matches on the day and 11 of those were of the "bonus point" variety – scoring more than three team points.

"I was most impressed with our ability to pick up bonus points in each dual meet," commented head coach Matt Nagel. "In the end that is what turned those matches in our favor."

The Cobbers scored three pin falls in each dual meet and added a pair of major decisions to come away with the three wins. Concordia beat unranked Dubuque (Iowa) 28-13 then downed No.14-ranked Johnson & Wales (R.I.) 27-16 before closing out the meet with a 25-17 victory over No.6-ranked Alma. 

Concordia had four wrestlers go unbeaten at the highly competitive dual meet hosted by No.1-ranked Wartburg. Jakob StagebergJoe Heinz and Justice Davis were all 3-0 on the day while Ty Johnson went 2-0.

Perhaps the biggest winner of the four was Davis who had only wrestled in one match prior to Monday and proceeded to rattle off three straight pin fall victories. What made the day even bigger for Davis was that two of his three wins came when the team outcome hung in the balance. 

Heinz had two pins which came in the first two matches of the meet and both victories swung the momentum in Concordia's favor. 

Against Dubuque, the Cobbers fell behind 7-4 after Stageberg's major decision at 125 to start the day. Freshman Johnson then tied the team score at 7-7 with an 11-6 win at 141. Senior Ben Cousins then won in overtime to put CC up 10-7 before Heinz blew the dual wide open with his first pin of the day at the 5:10 mark.

Dan Marquette posted a pin fall at 184 and then Davis finished off the first win in style by putting his opponent's shoulders on the mat at 4:12.

Stageberg and No.5-ranked Gabe Foltz staked Concordia to a 6-0 lead against Johnson & Wales but then the 14th-ranked Wildcats won the next two bouts, one by pin fall to take a 9-6 lead.

Cousins then posted his biggest win of the day as he used a last second takedown to beat No.10-ranked Joey Gaccione 2-1. Cousins has come up big in the third period all season long as he wears down his opponents with tough defense in the first two periods and then scores points when the match is on the line. 

Cousins' win at 157 tied the match at 9-9 and then Heinz recorded another pin to put the Cobbers up 15-9 – a lead they would never relinquish.

Dane Ringquist posted his only pin of the meet at 174 and CC was coasting up 21-9. Johnson & Wales responded with two straight victories and suddenly the match was within five points at 21-16 heading into Davis at 285.

Davis made sure there would be no late-dual heroics for the Wildcats as he pinned his opponent just 20-seconds into the second period. 

The dual against sixth-ranked Alma once again started in Concordia's favor with pins by Stageberg and Foltz. A Johnson major decision at 149 pushed the lead to 16-3 and then Heinz scored a 6-3 decision at 165 to give the Cobbers a commanding 19-6 lead.

Alma then roared back with three straight wins and CC was clinging to a 19-17 lead when Davis once again put out the fire and slammed the door on the Scots' comeback. 

He registered his third pin of the day, this one coming in the middle of the second period at 4:04.

Freshman Joe Heinz sums up the day very well in only eight words, a record and a hashtag

Dan Marquette's win in the opener against Dubuque upped his season record to 10-5 for the year. He became the 10th Cobber to record 10 wins on the season. 

The Cobbers have now won 10 dual matches which marks the third straight year CC has won at least 10 dual matches. The 10 dual wins are just three shy of their total from last season. The school record for dual-meet wins is 15 which came in 2014.   

Sophomore Jakob Stageberg added three wins to his team-leading win total. Stageberg is now 17-6 on the season and has won four straight and seven of his last nine matches.  

Ben Cousins' loss in the final match against No.4-ranked Shawn Brewer of Alma snapped a seven-match win streak. It was also Cousins' first loss against a Division III opponent. 

Concordia will have a 12-day break for the Christmas holiday. The Cobbers will return to action Saturday, Jan. 2 when they face NCAA Division II opponent Augustana (S.D.) in a dual meet in Sioux Falls, S.D. 

Concordia vs. Dubuque Individual Match Results:
25 - Jakob Stageberg (CC) major decision AJ Pascente (UD); 13-3 (Concordia 4-0)
133 - Steve Rosenburg (UD) decision #5 Gabe Foltz (CC); SV-1 16-14 (Concordia 4-3)
141 - Jeremy Melendez (UD) major decision Karl Keeler (CC); 12-0 (Dubuque 7-4)
149 - Ty Johnson (CC) decision Kody Krenz (UD); 11-6 (Tied 7-7)
157 - Ben Cousins (CC) decision Alek Aragon (UD); SV-1 3-1 (Concordia 10-7)
165 - Joe Heinz (CC) pin fall Jonathan Denikas (UD); 5:10 (Concordia 16-7)
174 - Elton Turnage-Manuel (UD) decision Dane Ringquist (CC); 6-3 (Concordia 16-10)
184 - Dan Marquette (CC) pin fall Ethan Soderstrom (UD); 7:35 (Concordia 22-10)
197 - Sharod Wilson (UD) decision Hunter SantAmour (CC); 5-3 (Concordia 22-13)
285 - Justice Davis (CC) pin fall Sawyer McAffrey (UD); 4:12 (Concordia 28-13)