Standing tall

-Messenger photo by Britt KudlaDrew Bennett of Fort Dodge wrestles against Johnston Zach Price on Thursday

-Messenger photo by Britt KudlaDrew Bennett of Fort Dodge wrestles against Johnston Zach Price on Thursday

JOHNSTON — Top-ranked (Class 3A) Fort Dodge will head into the break unbeaten on the mats, as the Dodgers pulled out a 34-33 victory over No. 6 Johnston.

Fort Dodge (5-0 overall) claimed the dual on criteria, winning eight matches to six by the Dragons.

Junior Drevon Ross sealed the win, earning a 4-0 decision over Sterling Brunk in one of the many featured bouts of the night pitting ranked wrestler against ranked wrestler.

“It was a big win in a clutch situation for Drevon,” FDSH head coach Bobby Thompson said. “He dominated a state placewinner and was just ready to go right from the opening whistle.”

Ross, ranked third, capped off a run of three consecutive wins by Fort Dodge. Brunk, a senior, is ranked seventh.

“Coming in down 18 and with tough matchups had two other weights, we knew it was going to be a grind to pull it out,” Thompson said. “The young guys were the ones stepping up for us.”

In the main event for the night, which hit the mats right before Ross-Brunk, No. 1 Drew Bennett remained perfect on the season, scoring a convincing 7-2 victory over second-ranked Zach Price.

Bennett and Price could be in line for several meetings in the coming months.

“Drew was dominant,” Thompson said. “It was even worse than the score showed.”

Brody Teske, ranked No. 1 and a three-time defending state champion, claimed a major decision over James Edwards at 126, with Carson Taylor doing the same vs. Caleb Helgeson at 113.

Taylor, a sophomore ranked seventh, handed Helgeson, a sixth-ranked ninth-grader, a 14-4 loss.

“Carson just out-worked his opponent,” Thompson said. “He came out and really put on a show.”

Second-ranked Drake Ayala started the turnaround for the Dodgers when he pinned Rheiner Stahlbaum in 3:05 at 106 pounds.

No. 3 Damond Lockner opened the night by earning a decision over Elliott Pohlmeyer, 7-3, with top-ranked Cayd Lara picking up a major decision vs. No. 10 Cade Moss.

Levi Egli, rated ninth, had a fall at 160, sticking Noah Rogers to the mat in 2:44. Nick Graham, ranked fifth, did not wrestle.

“We aren’t where we want to be, but a win like this will only help us get better,” Thompson said. “It was a great way to close out the first part of the season.”

Fort Dodge forfeited three weights, surrendering 18 points to the Dragons. They were competing without sixth-ranked 170-pounder Kaden Smith.

Earning junior varsity wins for the Dodgers were Dustin Handy, Sawyer Springer, Brandon Mills, Lane Cowell, Dreyvon Phillips, Michael Schroeder Tyson Power, Savion Wheat and Dylan Zimmermann.

FORT DODGE 34, JOHNSTON 33

145 — Damond Lockner, FD dec. Elliott Pohlmeyer via decision, 7-3; 152 — Cayd Lara, FD major dec. Cade Moss, 13-2; 160 — Levi Egli, FD pinned Noah Rogers, 2:44; 170 — Harrison Pauley, J won by forfeit; 182 — Collin Hushagen, J pinned Austin Lee, :36; 195 — Javian Rolley, J won by forfeit; 220 — Ben Standish, J won by forfeit; 285 — Jake Ryan pinned Caleb Vance, :55; 106 — Drake Ayala, FD pinned Rheiner Stahlbaum, 3:05; 113 — Carson Taylor, FD major dec. Caleb Helgeson, 14-4; 120 — Thomas Edwards, J def. Brooks Cowell, 8-6 (OT); 126 — Brody Teske, FD major dec. James Edwards, 20-7; 132 — Drew Bennett, FD dec. Zach Price, 7-2; 138 — Drevon Ross, FD dec. Sterling Brunk, 4-0.

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