Jamestown nearly upset No. 3-ranked Bismarck Century to open the high school wrestling season on Tuesday at Jerry Meyer Arena.
But after Jamestown's Joel Bowman posted a sudden-victory decision over Hayden Johnsrud at 126 pounds to tie the dual at 34-34, the Patriots won by a technicality. The visitors were awarded the dual 35-34, being awarded a tiebreak point via Jamestown's forfeit at 182 pounds.
"It's a new rule this year," JHS coach Larry Eslick said. "The team that does not give up a forfeit wins. I get what they're trying to do ... but sometimes forfeits are a name of the game just to get positions and matchups you want.
"But I knew that going in. If it was a close dual that might come back and bite us, and it did."
The Blue Jays moved Coty Huebner out of the 182-pound spot to fill a hole in the Jays' lineup at 195. Huebner, a senior, performed admirably up a class, giving up a 9-5 decision to No. 6-ranked junior Anthony Caranza.
Jamestown trailed at that point 28-9 after the night started at 132, but the eighth-ranked Jays came flying back in thrilling fashion. Juniors Dareeyn Davis and Damien Krebs notched pins at 220 and 285, respectively, to get Jamestown to withing seven at 28-21, and following a major decision by fourth-ranked Grady Anderson at 106 and a huge second-period pin by second-ranked Aden Braun over the Patriots' third-ranked Blake Ersland at 113 the home team led 31-28 with two matches remaining.
JHS freshman Ben Shirley was originally penciled in at 195, but Eslick elected to roll the dice and take a forfeit at 182 by moving Huebner.
"I'm pretty happy with the kids," Eslick said. "We're two starters short and for these kids to battle like that against the No. 3 team in the state, I'll take that any night of the week."
Century's fourth-ranked freshman Kaden DeCoteau pinned Pete Rasmussen to shoot the Patriots back into the lead at 34-31, setting up Bowman vs. Johnsrud in the finale.
Tied at 6-6 after 6 minutes, Bowman was able to shoot and score the two-point takedown 30 seconds into the extra minute to win 8-6. Bowman is ranked second at 120, while Johnsrud is ranked second at 126.
"I knew I was better at neutral, so I just had to be smart and take my shots and win," said Bowman, who placed third at the Class A state wrestling tournament last season at 113. "I think we've done a great job preparing these last three weeks, and I think we executed pretty well. We had a couple of slip-ups here and there, but I think we'll get better throughout the season."
Also scoring victories for Jamestown on opening night were freshman Jackson Walters at 145 pounds (9-4 dec.) and senior Noah Braun at 152. Ranked third at 152, Braun pinned Cole Radenz in the third.
"I knew it was going to be a pretty tough match, but I knew my team needed me to score some points and get the pin," said Braun, who placed fourth at state last winter at 145. "It came down to the wire. I tried whatever I could, plus coach said if I pin my kid I get a singlet."
Jamestown will look to defend its title hosting the Knights of Columbus Tournament on Dec. 7 at Jerry Meyer Arena.
"There's some things we need to improve on, but the further we go forward the healthier we'll get and we'll get our starters back," Eslick said. "I'm proud of these kids."
(3) Bismarck Century 35, (8) Jamestown 34
132: Devin Schulz, BC dec. Talor Huebner, 10-6 (0-3).
138: (1) Clay Radenz, BC major dec. (5) Colton Mewes, 10-2 (0-7).
145: Jackson Walters, J dec. Devi Schulz, 9-4 (3-7).
152: (3) Noah Braun, J pinned Cole Radenz, 5:11 (9-7).
160: Ben Weigum, BC pinned Preston Gall, 5:17 (9-13).
170: Dany Tanefeu, BC pinned Reece Horstad, 2:50 (9-19).
182: (2) Jacob Boehm, BC won by forfeit (9-25).
195: (6) Anthony Caranza, BC dec. Coty Huebner, 9-5 (9-28).
220: Dareeyn Davis, J pinned Lykken Parlett, 2:21 (15-28).
285: Damien Krebs, J pinned Jacob Burkhard, 5:08 (21-28).
106: (4) Grady Anderson, J major dec. Zachary Stair, 15-2 (25-28).
113: (2) Aden Braun, J pinned (3) Blake Ersland, 2:30 (31-28).
120: (4) Kaden DeCoteau, BC pinned Pete Rasmussen, 0:58 (31-34).
126: (2) Joel Bowman, J dec. (2) Hayden Johnsrud, SV-1 8-6 (34-34)
Records: Century 1-0. Jamestown 0-1.