BEDFORD -- Colleyville Heritage quarterback Cody Thomas hit receiver Kaelin Deboskie in stride for a 77-yard touchdown with one minute remaining to give the Panthers a 35-30 victory over Hurst L.D. Bell on Friday at Pennington Field.
"I knew that pre-snap I was going to have a good route, and I knew Cody was going to throw a perfect pass," Deboskie said. "I just had to make my route perfect and it was what it was after that."
The victory gives Heritage (9-1, 6-1 in District 3-5A) a Division II top seed in the playoffs and was coach Mike Fuller's 100th career victory.
The Panthers will play Hebron (6-4) in a bi-district game at 8 p.m. next Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
L.D. Bell (7-3, 4-3) also qualified for the Division II playoffs by virtue of Irving MacArthur's 35-34 overtime victory over Irving. Bell will play Denton Ryan at 5 p.m. next Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.
The lead changed hands three times in the fourth quarter and the Panthers found themselves trailing 30-28 with the ball at their own 2, with 1:21 remaining on the clock.
Thomas connected with Deboskie three plays later for his fifth touchdown pass of the night.
Thomas, an Oklahoma recruit, finished 25-for-41 for 403 yards.
The Blue Raiders never gave up, marching inside the 20 in the final seconds, but Panthers defensive back Kamel Layne intercepted a desperation fourth-down pass to end the game.
"Once we settled down, doing our thing, getting comfortable in the offense, we really showed up," Thomas said. "Our defense, hats off to them, they got major stops in the second half and the O-line giving me time to do all that -- hats off to them as well."
L.D. Bell jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half after running back J.T. Vines scored on a 17-yard screen pass from Colson Romano, but Heritage cut the lead to 21-14 by the half on a pair of scoring passes by Thomas.
Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760
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