With Boswell’s starting quarterback Brayden Thomas on the sideline for another week, backup Chance Dotts stepped up and guided the Pioneers on Thursday night.
Dotts hit a wide-open Diontae Freeman for a 74-yard touchdown that gave the Pioneers their largest lead and they went on to beat South Hills, 33-30, in a District 3-5A Division I game from Clark Stadium.
Dotts finished 16 of 24 for 265 yards to help Boswell (5-3, 5-1) clinch a playoff berth for the 11th time in the past 13 seasons.
With the game tied 16-16 entering the fourth quarter, Boswell exploded for 17 points during the final 12 minutes. Oscar Ronquillo nailed a 38-yard field goal to give the Pioneers the lead for good with 11:21 left.
But South Hills (3-5, 2-4) pulled within 26-23 after BJ Roney hit Dejuan Jones for a 6-yard TD with 4:38 to go. Roney threw a 41 and 40-yard pass to keep the drive alive.
Cody Mayberry then scored his second TD on a 13-yard run to make it 10 near the 2-minute mark. He sealed it with a third-down conversion and nine seconds left. Mayberry ran for 41 yards.
South Hills’ top prospect and Missouri commit Anthony Watkins added a 1-yard TD run late.
Watkins needed 98 yards to reach 2,000 on the season and hit the mark in the first half during a 27-yard TD that gave the Scorpions a 13-9 lead with 9:10 in the second. He finished with 34 carries for 187 yards and three TDs.
Watkins’ first TD came from the 6 after the Scorpions took their opening drive 76 yards on 14 plays to put them in front 7-3 midway through the first.
Mayberry countered with a 3-yard TD run to push Boswell ahead, 9-7.
Derrick Berry, who rushed for a team-high 104 yards on 17 carries, scored from the 1 to give Boswell a 16-13 lead midway through the third before South Hills tied it on a 23-yard field goal from Gustavo Almanza.
The numbers were nearly identical as each team picked up 20 first downs. Boswell edged South Hills in total yards 444-434.
Brandon Chatman finished with eight catches and a season-high 103 yards. Freeman added 82 yards and Zeke McCray had three catches for 54 yards. John Diaz recorded his sixth interception of the season when he picked off a pass late in the second quarter.
Roney passed for 217 yards while Jayden Champion led the team with 125 yards receiving. Jones added 82 yards on five catches. Travon Sauls registered two sacks including one as time expired in the first half to keep South Hills in front at the break.
Both teams are back in action on Nov. 2 as Boswell hosts Arlington Heights on senior night while South Hills travels to Chisholm Trail.