George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor firstname.lastname@example.org
There were times against Simon Fraser when it looked like things just weren’t going to the Montana State University-Northern Lights way. But at the end of the night, the Lights got an important win from sophomore Byron Kuylen, and fought off losing their fourth straight dual by beating the Clan 30-19 in dual action on Thursday night at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse. The Lights jumped out to an 18-6 lead on the Clan thanks to a pins from Chris Thompson at 184 pounds, Robbie Shaw at heavyweight and Cory Borges at 125 pounds. But the Clan stormed back to take the lead by winning three straight matches before Kuylen pinned Hardeep Aujila at 157 pounds to seal SFU’s fate. Kuylen, the second-ranked wrestler in the NAIA at 149 pounds, has actually been wrestling up and performing well at 157, and he helped the Lights put away the Clan for good on Thursday. After Kuylen’s win, the Lights earned forfeits at both 165 and 174 pounds. But Northern’s win didn’t come without a price. The Lights lost star senior Brian Fritchman to a shoulder injury during his match with Micah Brakefield at 197 pounds. Brakefield was leading Fritchman, who just came back to the lineup after a lengthy injury to his foot, 8-6 when the shoulder injury occurred. Northern also lost matches at 133 pounds as Raj Verdi pinned MSU-N’s Carlos Alaniz in 6:14. Mike McPeak lost a 7-3 decision to Bo Gregson at 151 pounds and Colt Heger was major decisioned at 149 pounds, but it wasn’t enough for the Clan to overcome the early pins and the forfeits. The sixth-ranked Lights are back on the road this weekend, before hosting their final home dual of the year on Feb. 6 when they take on the thirdranked University of Great Falls Argos at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse.