Quarterback Bryce Niver scored four times — twice through the air, twice on the ground — to help the Colony Knights pull off a big upset Friday night in Palmer.
Colony upended the second-ranked Moose 31-20 at Machentaz Field — where, according to Twitter reports, two people streaked across the field at halftime.
A win would have made Palmer the outright champions of the five-team Railbelt Conference. Now the Moose are 2-1 in the league heading into their final game of the regular season — the annual Potato Bowl against Wasilla, which is 1-2.
If Wasilla, which absorbed a 42-6 nonconference bruising from Juneau on Friday, beats Palmer, it could create the potential for all five Railbelt teams to finish with 2-2 league records. Lathrop is 2-2 with no more league games left; Colony is 2-1 and West Valley is 1-2 heading into their meeting next week.
This situation was made possible by Colony's upset of Palmer.
The Knights struck first on Niver’s 6-yard pass to Daniel Bilafer, but Palmer answered with three straight touchdowns — a 23-yard run by James Nisbett, a 49-yard run by Vinnie Aumavae and a 54-yard reception by Cody Wells.
Colony owned the third quarter, outscoring Palmer 17-0. Niver scored on a 19-yard run and an 8-yard pass to Bilafer, and Bilafer tacked on a 20-yard field goal for a 24-20 lead.
Niver’s 8-yard run sealed the win in the fourth quarter.
In other action Friday, Barrow stopped Seward 20-6 in a Greatland Conference game in Seward and North Pole upended West Valley 28-13 in a nonconference game in Fairbanks.
The Wasilla-Juneau game was also a nonconference match-up. North Pole and Juneau are both former large-school teams that dropped into the medium-school division this season, and Friday night both took decisive victories over their former Railbelt opponents.