WEBSTER CITY - Landon Johnson had spent about 6 hours in the rankings in his entire life prior to stepping onto the mat last night inside the WCHS gymnasium. But it sure didn't seem to make him nervous.
Stepping into the 285-pound (Class 3A) rankings at No. 10 earlier in the day, Johnson backed up the hype with a pair of quick pins for the Webster City wrestling team in its double dual against North Central Conference rival Algona and non-conference foe Fort Dodge.
The Lynx split the duals with a 44-15 rout of Algona, followed by a 37-29 setback against Fort Dodge. Still, head coach Ted Larson saw plenty to smile about, particularly after Webster City's rough outing at the Kennedy Memorial Duals last weekend.
DFJ photo by Troy Banning
Webster City 10th-ranked (Class 3A) heavyweight Landon Johnson (top) squeezes the fight out of Algona’s Chandler Holmes during their bout last night inside the WCHS gymnasium. Johnson wrapped up the fall moments later, as the Lynx pummeled the Bulldogs, 44-15, to move to 4-0 in NCC duals.
"I saw big-time improvement (last night)," Larson said. "I saw improvement with our position and with our fight all the way to the end, so it went really well."
WCHS (6-4, 4-0 NCC) was victorious at 10 of the 14 weights against Algona, and the Lynx built up a 14-4 advantage in bonus points. But the favorable match-ups went the other way against the Dodgers, who climbed ahead 31-6 after eight weights and then clinched the win on third-ranked Duke Egli's pin at 170 pounds.
"It's about match-ups and we matched up better with Algona," Larson said. "We knew we would have some tough head-to-heads with the way we matched up against Fort Dodge.
Webster City 44, Algona 15
170 - Joe Teague (A) dec. Brandon Patten, 10-3; 182 - Dylan Fielder (WC) major dec. Garrett Johnson, 9-0; 195 - Gus Gasca (WC) dec. Jeff Buchanon, 4-1; 220 - Jared Thome (WC) dec. Michael Mather, 4-3; 285 - Landon Johnson (WC) pinned Chandler Holmes, 1:34; 106 - Cole Nokes (WC) pinned Tyler Decker, 5:14; 113 - Freddie Seeley (WC) major dec. Matt Hutchinson, 10-2; 120 - Andrew Straw (WC) pinned Ray Aguilar, 5:11; 126 - Jake Adams (A) pinned Collin Oswald, 2:30; 132 - Josh Strohman (A) dec. Tanner Hoveland, 9-8; 138 - Tanner Hild (WC) forfeit; 145 - Jake Powers (WC) dec. Austin Long, 9-6; 152 - Weston Shaw (A) dec. Alex Oswald, 3-1; 160 - Connor Larson (WC) dec. Tyler Frideres, 5-1.
Fort Dodge 37, Webster City 29
195 - Riley Prescott (FD) dec. Gus Gasca, 3-1; 220 - Kyle Johnson (FD) dec. Jared Thome, 7-2; 285 - Landon Johnson (WC) pinned Austin Porter, 0:36; 106 - Eric Birnbaum (FD) pinned Cole Nokes, 4:26; 113 - Cole Detmering (FD) major dec. Freddie Seeley, 10-2; 120 - Kole Evans (FD) pinned Andrew Straw, 0:59; 126 - Cameron Hicks (FD) dec. Collin Oswald, 7-2; 132 - Cory Alexander (FD) pinned Tanner Hoveland, 1:27; 138 - Tanner Hild (WC) dec. Jonah Egli, 2-0; 145 - Jake Powers (WC) major dec. Matt Osborne, 18-6; 152 - Alex Oswald (WC) pinned Kole Kampen, 3:58; 160 - Connor Larson (WC) pinned Willie Moretz, 0:38; 170 - Duke Egli (FD) pinned Brandon Patten, 2:43; 182 - Dylan Fielder (WC) major dec. Sam Cook, 9-1.
"The conference (dual) was the important one, but we wanted both of them."
No one in the Lynx lineup was as dominant as Johnson, who decked Algona's Chandler Holmes in 1:34 and Fort Dodge's Austin Porter in 36 seconds. The senior has lost just once this season, but Larson isn't about to let him get comfortable with his record or his ranking.
"I didn't even know," Larson said about Johnson being ranked. "I don't think anybody knew that because they don't mean anything."
Behind a 20-6 edge in takedowns against Algona, WCHS was never threatened. The Lynx won seven consecutive matches during an early stretch, keyed by falls from Johnson, Cole Nokes (106) and Andrew Straw (120), as well as major decision routs courtesy of second-ranked Dylan Fielder (182) and Freddie Seeley (113).
Gus Gasca (195) and Jared Thome (220) were winners by decision during the spurt; Thome used a double-leg takedown with 7 seconds remaining to rally for a 4-3 decision over Michael Mather.
Jake Powers (145) and Connor Larson (160) finished off the beating with wins by decision.
WCHS was unable to attain any kind of momentum against the Dodgers, however. Johnson was the only Lynx grappler to win in the first eight bouts, and that was all she wrote.
The Dodgers - who also beat Algona, 39-30 - produced three falls and a major decision at the five lightest weights.
"I think that dual was a lot closer than (the final score), but we just can't give up those falls at those lighter weights," Ted Larson said. "But that's just the way it is right now."
Tanner Hild (138) stopped the Dodgers' run with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over talented freshman Jonah Egli. Hild scored a first-period takedown and made it hold up by riding Egli the entire third period.
"That was a big match for both of them really," Ted Larson said of Hild and Egli. "They'll probably meet again Saturday (at the Don Miller Invite in Fort Dodge)."
Powers, Alex Oswald (152) and Connor Larson pulled WCHS within striking distance with three consecutive wins; Oswald floored Kole Kampen in 3:58 and Larson put Willie Moretz in a cradle for the fall in 38 seconds.
Fielder - the only unbeaten wrestler remaining on the Lynx roster - closed the dual with a 9-1 major decision over Sam Cook.