Havre Daily News sports editor
The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team has had its share of difficulties early this season. Nothing, however, was more devastating than the Lights' 31-6 loss Thursday night to a second-year program in the University of Great Falls.
The Lights traveled to UGF as the No. 18-ranked team in the country, while the Argos came in ranked fourth. Still, the dual was expected to be close between the two teams.
It turned out anything but.
UGF won eight straight matches from 125 pounds to 184 pounds before the Lights even scored a point.
UGF's Forest Bouge dismantled Zach Morgan at 125 to get the dual started. Bouge scored six takedowns en route to an 18-5 win that got the Argos off and running.
What followed was an onslaught of UGF wins by Jason Harrington, Spencer Griffiths, Jon Muri, Adam Monroe, Mike Kummer and Dan Gordon.
Gordon earned a hard-fought 10-6 upset win over Northern's Ryan Mattingly in the 184-pound match.
By the time Northern's Brian Fritchman pinned former Chinook standout Eric Hinebauch in the 197-pound match, the dual was completely over on the scoreboard.
Fritchman's win over Hinebauch was another in what has become quite a battle between the two nationally ranked wrestlers this season. In the final match of the night, UGF's Luke Roberts earned a 3-1 decision over MSU-N heavyweight Josh Robinson.
The historic win over the Lights was a dramatic turnaround for the UGF program. In its first year as a program, the Argos were defeated by Northern by scores of 44-3 and 39-6. The two teams will hook up again when UGF comes to Havre on Feb. 8
Northern won't be back in action until Dec. 29 when the team travels to the Midlands Invitational.
Great Falls 31, MSU-Northern 6
125-Forrest Bouge, Great Falls, dec. Zach Morgan, 18-5; 133-Jason Harrington, Great Falls, dec. Michael McPeak, 12-9; 141-Spencer Griffiths, Great Falls, dec. Chris Smith, 3-2; 149-Jon Muri, Great Falls, dec. Colt Heger, 11-9; 157-Adam Monroe, Great Falls, dec. Ty Aiken, 7-6; 165-Ryan Smith, Great Falls, dec. Aaron Jensen, 7-2; 174-Mike Kummer, Great Falls, pinned Colter Dimas, 5:15; 184-Dan Gordon, Great Falls, dec. Ryan Mattingly, 10-6; 197-Brian Fritchman, MSU-Northern, pinned Eric Hinebauch, 3:41; Hwt-Luke Roberts, Great Falls, dec. Josh Robinson, 3-1.