Gophers score 2 more Big Ten victories

No. 5 Minnesota remains undefeated in Big Ten duals this season.

Gophers score 2 more Big Ten victories

Derek Wetmore

The Gophers were without No. 6 Zach Sanders (125 pounds) on Friday night but overcame an opening match forfeit to defeat Illinois 27-13. Sanders was unable to wrestle Friday after hurting his ankle in last SundayâÄôs match versus Purdue. Facing an early 6-0 deficit, Minnesota couldnâÄôt have asked for a better time for Jayson Ness (133) to make his return. After missing time with an injury, Ness came back and pinned his opponent 1:44 into the first round Friday. âÄúIt felt good to get out there, especially to help the team,âÄù Ness said. âÄúWith Sanders being out it was nice to get us tied right back up.âÄù The victory earned Ness the No. 1 ranking after sitting at No. 2 all season. Ness is undefeated on the season. It was his 10th first period fall this season and 15th overall. âÄúThe main thing is scoring points and the more points you score the more chances youâÄôre going to have at getting the pin,âÄù Ness said. The Gophers followed by winning their next five matches. Heavyweight Ben Berhow finished off the night winning by decision, 10-3. Berhow has been on a tear of late, helping to carry the Gophers to victories over Wisconsin and Purdue last weekend. Gophers hang on for close victory against Indiana Saturday nightâÄôs contest in Bloomington, Ind., saw the Gophers prevail by a final team score of 23-18. Once more, Minnesota had to forfeit at 125 because Zach Sanders was unable to compete. Just like the night before, Ness got the team right back into it, tying the score at six by recording a fall. The fall was NessâÄô 16th of the season and puts him four shy of tying the single-season school record, which Ness and assistant coach Marty Morgan currently share. âÄúI would say MartyâÄôs in trouble,âÄù head assistant coach Joe Russell said. âÄúWhenever Jayson goes out there to wrestle, heâÄôs thinking about pinning the guy and thatâÄôs a great mind-set to have.âÄù After the Ness pin, No. 6 Mike Thorn, No. 18 Mario Mason and No. 2 Dustin Schlatter rattled off three straight wins for the Gophers. Thorn earned a technical fall, while Mason and Schlatter recorded 6-0 decisions. Following those matches, Cody Yohn wrestled well in hopes to upset No. 12 Paul Young but got trapped and was unable to escape the pin. The pin brought Indiana within four points of the Gophers with four matches remaining. No. 8 Scott Glasser answered in a big way, recording a major decision and giving Minnesota a 20-12 cushion. No. 10 Sonny Yohn (184) came through Saturday after being upset Friday night. Yohn earned an 8-2 decision to put the match out of reach. The Gophers prepare for a border battle with Iowa at 6 p.m. Friday at Williams Arena.