PALMER — After a pair of tough losses to start the 2019 season, the Colony Knights finally had the chance to celebrate a win.

Colony used 22 second-quarter points to score a 28-13 nonconference win over rival Palmer Thursday night at Colony High School.

“We needed that,” Colony head coach Robbie Nash said after the win.

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The Knights improved to 1-2, after starting the season with a 44-16 loss to defending Division I state champion East Anchorage in the opener and a 38-7 loss to up and coming South Anchorage last week. Both East and South have started the season 2-0.

“Starting off the schedule with probably the top two teams is a good test,” Nash said. “I’m glad we had that opportunity.”

Nash said it was great for his squad to get a real look at East and South teams that Colony could possibly see in the first round of the state playoffs. It’s chance for a young team to learn, Nash said. Nash said the Knights coaching staff has also been preaching positivity after the early-season losses.

“We talk about positive mental attitude. We’re constantly telling them, no matter what happens,” Nash said.

Nash said he saw more of that Thursday.

After falling behind 7-0 early, Colony erupted for 28 points in the first half, 22 in the second quarter.

“The second quarter was phenomenal,” Nash said.

Ridge Ravel broke free for a pair of touchdowns during a five-minute stretch of the second. Raval hit the left side of the field for a 40-yard run to give Colony its first lead of the game with about nine minutes left in the first half. Less than five minutes later, Raval used an 11-yard touchdown run to give Colony the 20-7 lead.

“One of those things about Ridge, we’ve realized we’ve got to get the ball into his hands more,” Nash said.

Colony extended its lead on the final play of the first half, cashing in on the double-pass. Quarterback Ryan Murphy sent a lateral to receiver Michael Bradley, who connected with running back Aidan Ehmann on a 51-yard scoring pass down the left sideline.

Colony scored its first offensive touchdown of the season in the first quarter when Murphy hit Hunter Sasser on a 26-yard touchdown catch. Murphy finished the game 7 of 16 for 113 yards and a touchdown.

“What I like about Ryan Murphy is he’s played quarterback before and he gets rid of the ball quick,” Nash said. “He knows the offense really well, and he’s one of those kids who is not afraid to take a hit.”

Palmer took the first lead. Fullback Duston Corbin pushed head for a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Corbin also set up Palmer’s second score. Moose backup quarterback Ben Simmerman connected with Corbin on a 42-yard pass, and Corbin was pulled down on the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Lavar Marshall crossed the goal line for a 1-yard score.

Marshall rushed for a game-high 119 yards on 29 carries.

Palmer is now 1-2 after opening its season against three straight Division I opponents. The Moose opened the season with a 26-2 loss at Chugiak, and bounced back with a 37-15 win over Dimond last week.

Contact Frontiersman managing editor Jeremiah Bartz at sports@frontiersman.com

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