James Nisbett scored his sixth touchdown of the game, a 6-yard rushing score with 1:16 remaining, to lift top ranked Palmer to a wild 49-42 win over number three North Pole on Friday night to move into sole possession of first place in the Railbelt Conference. Palmer, which trailed 20-7 after one quarter, improved to 6 and 0, while the Patriots fell to 5 and 1.
Five of Nisbett's touchdowns came on the ground. He also ran the second half kickoff back 80 yards for a score to tie the game at 28.
At Anchorage Football Stadium on Friday, East moved to 2 and 3 in the Cook Inlet Conference and kept its playoff hopes alive with a 33-6 pounding of rival Bartlett. The win secures the "East Side Boot" for the T-Birds for the eighth time in 11 seasons. Jarred Laws scored two receiving touchdowns, returned a fumble 72 yards for another score, and picked off a pass for a 71 yard return to lead the T-Birds.
In Friday's only other Railbelt Conference game, West Valley dropped Wasilla to 0 and 5 in league play, 35-21.
In medium-small schools action, Kenai grabbed its first win by downing Houston, 33-25. Nikiski scored 48 points for the game straight week in a 48-6 rout of Valdez. The Bulldogs are 2 and 1 in the Greatland Conference.