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Lights pin Cardinals


December 12, 2017

One of the toughest duals the Montana State University-Northern Lights wrestle each season isn't one against a Cascade Conference opponent, or even an NAIA rival. Instead, it's when the Lights go head to head with the North Idaho Cardinals.

And yet again, Northern's latest bout with the Cardinals was a tough one as the No. 13 Lights tripped to Coeur d' Alene, Idaho to face the Cardinals, the No. 7 team in the NJCAA Saturday night.

As expected, the dual was a close one, but even having to forfeit six points at heavyweight, the Lights came away with a 20-15 victory.

Northern's big guns led the way in what was a battle from start-to-finish. Brandon Weber (157), Matt Weber (141), Andrew Bartel (165) and Isaac Bartel (197) all hold NAIA Top 10 rankings, and all four came away with important victories against the Cardinals.

However, the Lights also got two very important wins that truly cinched the road victory. The first came when sophomore Landon Bailey earned an 8-0 major decision at 133 points. Those would Northern's only bonus points of the night. Later in the dual, sophomore Steeler French lifted the Lights even further when he fought his way to a 9-7 decision at 184 pounds. Those victories were absolutely essential to getting over the top against NIC.

Now, Northern will return to conference action when the Lights travel to LaGrande, Oregon Thursday night for a showdown with No. 18 Eastern Oregon. The Lights will then close out the 2017 portion of their schedule with the Reno Tournament of Champions Sunday in Reno, Nevada.

Lights 20, North Idaho 15

125 – Esco Walker, NIC dec. Nick Kunz, MSU-N, 13-9; 133 – Landon Bailey, MSU-N maj. dec. Austin Iorga, NIC, 8-0; 141 – Matt Weber, MSU-N dec. Diego Nunez, NIC, 7-3, 149 – Brent Evans, NIC dec. Dylan Veis, MSU-N, 3-2, 157 – Brandon Weber, MSU-N maj. dec. Thomas Stevenson, NIC, 11-2; 165 – Andrew Bartel, MSU-N dec. Cooper McCullough, NIC, 5-3; 174 – Jacob Swift, NIC dec. Chase Short, MSU-N, 14-9; 184 – Steeler French, MSU-N dec. Levi Perry, NIC, 9-7; 197 – Isaac Bartel, MSU-N dec. Trysten Perales, NIC, 5-2; HWT – Damien Trujillo, NIC won by FFT.


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