FAIRBANKS-It was all on the line today at West Valley Stadium. The Wolfpack seniors wanted another crack at a playoff run but the Colony Knights did not obliged. Both teams faced a win or go home scenario and West Valley came up on the losing end 41-12 to Colony.
It was a tale of two halves for West Valley. The first one was competitive and hand the makings of a possible classic. The second half plays got away from West Valley while Colony continually made them.
The Wolfpack defense held the Knights to a field goal on their first possession. Colony's kicker Daniel Bilafer, who also doubled at wide receiver, connected on the 32 yarder. On the next possession it was West Valley's turn and there able to make a big play something we've seen them do throughout their season. This one was by senior running back Brendan Williams who busted through the middle of the line, cut to the outside, broke a tackle and sprinted down the sideline for a 65 yard touchdown. The extra point was no good so West Valley's lead was just 6-3.
Knight's quarterback Bryce Niver countered with his running game. Niver had a trio of runs that gained big chunks of yardage and got his team intro the redzone. His partner in crime, Logan Conway punched it in from a yard out for 10-6 Colony lead after a successful extra point. With 6:20 left in the opening quarter Bilafer tacked on another field goal following a West Valley stop on defense. Colony was up 13-6.
West Valley's Charles Sudduth showed he is so dangerous. Sudduth led the Wolfpack down the field with his legs, buying time and scrambling like the old Mike Vick. He elected to pass to his favorite target, Dv'nn Cooks, for a four yard touchdown pass. But the extra point was no good, wide left, so Colony had 13-12 lead despite the good drive from the Wolfpack.
The Knights built their own momentum for the second half by scoring a touchdown with seconds left at the end of the first. After a subpar West Valley punt Colony drive into the Wolfpack redzone again and this time Nivers went to Bilafer and the 6'2" receiver grabbed the jump ball and came down with both feet for a two yard score. Colony took a 20-12 lead into the half.
The second half was all Colony. At the 8:58 mark of the third quarter they scored off of turnovers as Nivers converted a touchdown on a quarterback sneak. This was after West Valley fumbled the ball away in their redznone. 27-12 Colony.
The Knight's defense contained Sudduth's scrambled and shutout the West Valley offense and their running game controlled the clock. West Valley's defense made plays but the offense had some threre and outs.
Conway got his second touchdown of the day, a 10 yard romp, to give Colony at 10:48 lead in the fourth. They would tack on another score and finish this one 41-12 ruining West Valley's senior day and dashing their playoff hopes.
Colony's victory made them the 2013 Railbelt champions. It also solidfied Lathrop as the Railbelt's three seed. Palmer finished with the two seed after their victory over Wasilla last night.
West Valley finishes the year 3-5 overall and 1-3 in the Railbelt conference.