WASILLA — The Colony Knights and Wasilla Warriors continued an annual rivalry that now spans nearly three decades. But things were a little bit different.
Colony and Wasilla are in different conferences for the first time. Now Colony, a new member of the Division I Cook Inlet Conference, has only one nonconference game per season.
“We had one nonconference game to play this year, and we wanted to play Wasilla,” Colony head coach Robbie Nash said. “Keep the tradition going.”
The rivalry is a big deal. But Nash said the Knights need to use the nonconference game to improve and prepare for upcoming conference games.
“When you have only one, you really got to take advantage of it,” Nash said.
And that’s what Colony did.
Colony posted a 34-14 win over the Warriors Sept. 3 at Wasilla High’s Veterans Memorial Field.
The Knights built a 20-0 lead in the first half and held a 27-0 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
“The thing we really wanted to do in this game is work on our tempo,” Nash said. “We’ve had slow starts every single game this year.”
Colony improved to 3-1 overall with the victory, winning their third straight. The Knights used strong second halves to beat South Anchorage and Bartlett during the previous two weeks.
“We knew we could do it in the second half,” Nash said. “We just need to overcome those slow starts and keep it going.”
Colony quarterback Harvey Pullen threw for 255 yards and three touchdown passes in the win.
“He’s doing really well,” Nash said of his senior signal caller. “He’s picking his targets, reading the defenses really well.”
Pullen’s night included an 88-yard touchdown pass to Jayce Underwood, which tied a school record. Pullen also hit Jack Nash in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown late int the first half, and Spencer Lagg on a 25-yard scoring pass early in the fourth.
Tanner Thornhill led Colony on the ground with 68 yards rushing and two scores.
Wasilla was also able to throw the ball in the game.
“They kept fighting,” Nash said of the Warriors.
Wasilla senior quarterback threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns. Maxwell Larson caught a 13-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter to put the Warriors on the scoreboard. Mahoney also hit Dylan Jeffus on a 33-yard touchdown later in the quarter.
Wasilla dropped to 3-1 with the loss. The Warriors, who were reclassified as a Division II program prior to the season, has wins over Houston, Kodiak and West Valley.
“Matt’s done a great job with the kids,” Nash said of first-year Wasilla head coach Matt Jaronik. “That’s the most respectable team we’ve played as far as sportsmanship.”
Colony returns to Cook Inlet Conference play and will host East Anchorage Friday at 7 p.m. Wasilla opens Northern Lights Conference play at Eagle River Saturday at 3 p.m.
Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colony 34, Wasilla 14
Colony — Thornhill 7 run (Catlett kick) 1:39
Colony — Underwood 88 pass from Pullen (Catlett kick: 9:51
Colony — Nash 13 pass from Pullen (run fail) 4:04
Colony — Lagg 25 pass from Pullen (Catlett kick) 11:22
Wasilla — Larson 13 pass from Mahoney (Sheveland kick) 9:38
Colony — Thornhill 1 run (Catlett kick) 6:29
Wasilla — Jeffus 33 pass from Mahoney (Sheveland kick) 5:47
RUSHING — Colony: Thornhill 13-68, Pullen 5-17, Nash 2-26, Holladay 4-20, No. 6: 3-20, Lagg 2-5, No. 14 1-0; Wasilla: Mahoney 17-66, No. 42 5-22, Lattin 5-(-2), White 3-5, Sheveland 1-6, Jeffus 1-2, Grisso 1-(-2),
PASSING — Colony: Pullen 8-15-0--255; Wasilla: Mahoney 14-25-2--219
RECEIVING — Colony: Nash 3-100, Underwood 2-88, Lagg 2-48, Jamison 1-19; Wasilla: Jeffus5-86, Grisso 5-74, White 3-26, Larson 2-21