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Dodgers fall to No. 1 Rams

PLEASANT HILL — Drake Ayala makes everything look easy when he hits the mat.

On Tuesday night the nation’s top-ranked wrestler did it again.

When Ayala, the nation’s top-ranked 126-pounder, matched up against Southeast Polk’s third-ranked Ayden Kingery (132), it seemed like a blockbuster match.

Instead, Ayala controled the entire match, earning a tech fall — one of five Dodger victories on the evening against top-ranked Southeast Polk.

The Rams won eight of the 13 matches, earning a 44-20 victory over the Dodgers (3-1).

“It’s nice to be able to get on the mat against Southeast Polk,” Thompson said. “We won some big matches, but there were also some that we should have won.”

Ayala, a two-time state champion, bumped up to 132 pounds to seek out tougher competition, dominated the match, closing the door in 4:38. Kingery finished third last season and is in the title hunt this year at 132.

“Kingery is a tough kid,” Thompson said. “He is big and he scraps. He gets you in tough positions, but that is just a tribute to Drake of how mentally tough and technical he is.

“This is Drake’s senior year and with COVID, we are searching for the best competition for Drake. This was a tribute to Drake to jump up and challenge him.”

Junior Ben Egli (182) fought through a tweaked knee injury in the second period to upset foruth-ranked Aiden Grimes. Egli took a 6-0 lead, but injured his knee. He fought off Grimes with a late takedown and near fall points for the 13-6 win.

“Ben fought through some adversity to get the win,” Thompson said. “He gutted it out and got a big win on the road.”

Fourth-ranked Lane Cowell won a ranked tilt with 10th-ranked Cooper Hanson, 6-4. Sixth-ranked freshman Dru Ayala earned a fall in 1:33 over Landon Morrow at 106 pounds.

“It’s good to see Lane get a win against a ranked opponent,” Thompson said. “Dru is getting his feet wet in tough meets and now you can see what he is capable of.”

Senior Kody Cook (160) earned an impressive 7-2 win over Harrison Gibson.

“That was a good win for Kody in a tough environment,” Thompson said. “He controled that match and was big for the team.”

Third-ranked Dreyzon Phillips (145) wrestled at 152 pounds against fourth-ranked Carson Martinson. The Ram junior took an early 4-0 lead on a first period move. Phillips made it interesting late with a takedown, but Martinson held on for the 7-6 win.

The Dodgers are back in action on Thursday when they travel to Ames for a triangular with the Little Cyclones and Des Moines Roosevelt. The Dodgers and Ames will wrestle first at 5:30 p.m.

SOUTHEAST POLK 44, FORT DODGE 20

285 — CJ Simmons, SEP pinned Keaton Nichols, 2:48; 106 — Dru Ayala, FD pinned Landon Morrow, 1:33: 113 — Nathan Jesuroga, SEP major dec. Max Bishop, 21-8; 120 — Lane Cowell, FD dec. Cooper Hanson, 6-4; 126 — Jack Lewis, SEP major dec. Carter Forbes, 14-2; 132 — Drake Ayala, FD tech fall Ayden Kingery, 22-7 (4:28); 138 — Carter Martinson, SEP dec. Damarion Ross, 3-0; 145 — Joel Jesuroga, SEP pinned Cal Hartman, 3:07; 152 — Carson Martinson, SEP dec. Dreyzon Phillips, 7-6; 160 — Kody Cook, FD dec. Harrison Gibson, 7-2; 170 — Andrew Reed, SEP pinned Mathew Surles-Davis, 3:03; 182 — Ben Egli, FD dec. Aiden Grimes, 13-6; 195 — Draven Woods, SEP won by forfeit; 220 — Kalob Runyon, SEP pinned Alex Read, :40.

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