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No. 1 Palmer faces East in playoff opener

The top-ranked Palmer Moose will kick off the playoffs Friday night by hosting the East Thunderbirds in the quartertfinals of the large-school football playoffs.

The rest of the state's large schools won't play until Saturday. Two games will be played that day at Dimond Alumni Field -- second-ranked Service will take on Juneau at 2 p.m. and third-ranked South will meet West Valley at 7 p.m.

In Fairbanks, fourth-ranked North Pole will play host to fifth-ranked West at 7 p.m.

Left out of the playoff picture was Colony, which tied for third place in the Railbelt Conference with West Valley and Juneau but was the odd-man-out after the tiebreakers.

West Valley won the first tiebreaker, based on point differential in games between the three teams, to gain the Railbelt's No. 3 seed and a date with South. That left Juneau and Colony tied for the No. 4 seed, which went to Juneau based on its Week 6 victory over Colony.

Palmer earned the top seed out of the Railbelt and North Pole is the No. 2 seed. In the Cook Inlet Conference, Service is the top seed, followed by South, West and East.

The state's two other football divisions feature four-team playoffs that begin this weekend with semifinal games. All but one of those games are Saturday.

On Friday, Thunder Mountain will play host to Homer in a 7 p.m. medium-school semifinal in Juneau. On Saturday, Kodiak is at Soldotna for the other medium-school semifinal while Barrow travels to Eielson and Monroe to Nikiski for small-school semifinals.

Kickoff for the Soldotna game was still in flux Monday, but the Stars don't have lights, so the game will be played in the afternoon.

Alaska Sports Broadcasting poll

Final rankings

Large schools

1. Palmer

2. Service

3. South

4. North Pole

5. West

Mid/Small schools

1. Eielson

2. Soldotna

3. Nikiski

4. Homer

5. Thunder Mountain

ASAA/First National Bowl

Large-school quarterfinals

Friday

East (5-3) at Palmer (8-0), 7 p.m.

Saturday

Juneau (4-4) at Service (7-1), Dimond High, 2 p.m.

West Valley (4-4) at South (6-2), Dimond High, 7 p.m.

West (5-3) at North Pole (7-1), 7 p.m.

Medium-school semifinals

Friday

Homer (6-2) at Thunder Mountain (5-3), 7 p.m.

Saturday

Kodiak (4-4) at Soldotna (7-1), TBA

Small-school semifinals

Saturday

Barrow (3-3) at Eielson (7-0), 1 p.m.

Monroe (3-3) at Nikiski (6-2), 11 a.m.



Anchorage Daily News