“We had to move things around a little,” said Panther head coach Nate Urbach.
Starting at 220 pounds, the dual saw the visiting Golden Bears quickly pin Spencer Shultz to get the dual started. Billings West looked as though it would add to its start as heavyweight Rowdy Gard trailed entering the third period of his match, but the sophomore took his opponent to the ground early in the third period and locked in a win by fall to abruptly end the competition and knot the scoreboard.
Gard’s win also triggered the start of a seven-match win streak for the Panthers as Powell’s lightweights dominated the action.
Noah Wozney picked up a late first-period win by fall at 106 pounds. Chance Karst followed with a 14-4 major decision victory at 113 pounds and Nic Urbach followed with a one-sided 15-0 technical fall that never made it out of the second period and extended the Panthers’ lead to 21-6.
Senior Dylan Rood played a key role in continuing the Panthers’ momentum at 126 pounds. Rood trailed his match 5-0 early, but systematically fought his way back to a 7-7 tie on the scoreboard as the senior’s conditioning wore down his opponent. The pace of the match finally swung matters in Rood’s favor as he collected a win by fall midway through the third period.
“Dylan did a good job of wrestling from behind and fighting back,” said Coach Urbach. “He, Rowdy and Noah all did a good job of fighting back tonight.”
Andrew Feller followed with a 12-0 major decision victory at 132 pounds. Kye Catlin then scored a win by fall at 138 pounds, extending the Panthers’ lead to 37-6 and locking in the dual victory for Powell.
Powell’s streak of wins in the dual looked well on its way to continuing as junior Matt Widdicombe built a 7-0 lead over the first two periods of his match at 145 pounds. The junior was caught early in the third period with a takedown and soon thereafter was caught on his back to lose by fall.
Jacob Davis immediately recovered those points for Powell by trotting out to accept a forfeit victory at 152 pounds when the Golden Bears were unable to field anybody at the weight.
Anthony Lujan was a second-period fall victim in the 160-pound match. Tyler Patterson fought his way for a 4-1 victory in the night’s closest match.
Both teams left the 182-pound division open and Billings West ended the night with a win at 195 pounds as the Panthers’ Zach Thompson found himself uncharacteristically on the short side of a 12-3 major decision.
In junior varsity action, the Panthers won the first five matches, including wins by fall from Colbee Craig, Jared Wantulok, Jose Perez and Ty Linebaugh. Of those, Jose Perez’s may have been the biggest as the freshman 106-pounder trailed 6-0 at the time he caught his opponent flat on the mat.
Colton Parham added an 8-2 decision during the early flurry from the Panther reserves.
Powell narrowly missed adding two more wins in the JV division as Pax Mitchell lost a narrow 8-7 victory, struggling the final 30 seconds to try and reach his feet for a potentially tying escape. Grant Nickles came up shot in a 9-7 decision where the winning takedown was scored with seven seconds remaining.
Daniel Wheeler lost by fall in a match between JV heavies before Craig returned to the mat for his second win by fall of the evening. Parham also came out for a second JV match, but couldn’t duplicate his earlier success, falling 7-0.
Wantulok followed with a 56-second win by fall, ensuring the Panthers would win a majority of the JV matches. The JV portion of the evening concluded with Grant Nickles losing by fall and Tucker Darrah coming up short in a 10-3 decision.
The Panthers return to the mats on Thursday with a 6:30 p.m. dual against Greybull.