IOWA CITY — Not bad for a first meeting between top-five foes.
In his first match since returning from a hamstring injury, Decorah’s Andy Hovden won a 3-2 decision in two overtimes over Class 3A second-ranked Kyle Maas of Iowa City High, part of a dominant 4-0 performance for the Vikings Saturday in the Clyde Bean Duals at City High.
Hovden (28-4), a 220-pound senior ranked fourth in Class 2A, also scored first period pins over Lisbon’s Jordan Woodward and Cedar Rapids Xavier’s Alex Gourley as Decorah (18-4) convincingly won all four duals by at least 19 points.
Keokuk finished second at 3-1, followed by Lisbon (2-2), whose 1A third-ranked 106-pounder Nick Williams scored pins in all three of his matches. Cedar Rapids Xavier (1-3) and Iowa City High (0-4) rounded out the field.
Hovden’s much-anticipated match-up with Maas quickly turned into a struggle for points, with both wrestlers only managing one-point escapes during regulation time, each successfully fending off takedown attempts.
“I felt pretty comfortable with the position I was in throughout the match,” Hovden said. “I feel like if I stay in a good position I can fight off most shots.”
After a scoreless sudden victory overtime period, Hovden executed a nifty reversal from the bottom position for a 3-1 advantage that held up.
A first-team INA all-state defensive lineman for Decorah’s state championship football team, Hovden sought to carry momentum from the gridiron to the mats.
“We had a lot of success this year in football,” Hovden said. “I think all the things that we’re teaching in both sports has helped create my attitude and my readiness to wrestle.”
Hovden is ready to turn his sights to qualifying for the state tournament, but first he’s searching for ways to put points on the board without relying just on his escape-ability to win matches.
“I need to find some type of ride that is going to help me if I do want to place this year, to keep a guy down for more than a couple seconds,” Hovden said.