Birdville rallied by scoring 27 third-quarter points, after trailing at the half, to run away from Colleyville Heritage, 51-24, in a District 4-5A Division I game Friday at the Birdville ISD Fine Arts/Athletics Complex.
The win puts Birdville (9-0 overall, 6-0 district) in a position to play for the district crown on Thursday when they visit Denton Ryan. Heritage (4-5, 3-3) can still secure the final playoff spot with a victory over one-win Denton next Friday.
The Panthers took a 17-14 lead with 17 seconds left in the first half when quarterback Trey Flint hit Jacob Fex with a 26-yard scoring pass. Fex had five catches for 99 yards for Colleyville Heritage.
Birdville, ranked No. 7 in the Star-Telegram Class 5A Power Rankings, then proceeded to score 37 unanswered points after halftime led by running back Laderrious Mixon and quarterback Stone Earle.
Mixon scored on runs of 10 and 77 yards. Earle tossed two touchdown passes, 88 yards to Carter Self and 30 yards to Brendton Northey. The latter gave Birdville a 41-17 lead with 2:19 left in the third quarter.
Mixon carried 23 times for 270 yards before leaving the game with 9:55 left after what looked to be a sore shoulder after a hit on the sideline. Earle was 13-of-20 passing for 306 yards and had four TD passes.
Earle and Mixon connected on a 33-yard end-around pass for a score with 3:26 left in the second quarter that gave the Hawks a 14-10 lead.
Game was over when: Trailing 27-17, the Panthers were forced to punt with 6:26 left in the third quarter. But on the ensuing play Mixon broke through off left tackle and outraced the defense 77 yards for a score and a 34-17 lead. Heritage never recovered.
Play of the game: Earle’s reverse pass to Mixon was executed perfectly. Mixon took the handoff then ran right before pitching to Northey on the reverse. Northey tossed it back to Earle who found Mixon, who had late coverage, with a perfect strike in the corner of the end zone.
Offensive player of the game: Tough to choose between Mixon and Earle so I won’t!
Defensive player of the game: Birdville linebacker Mechac Mashaka was in on several tackles, with a number going for losses. Hawks defensive back Hosea Armstrong picked off a pass in the end zone late in the game.
Unsung hero of the game: Birdville receivers Carter Self and Brendton Northey had over 100 receiving yards each. Self finished with four catches for 131 yards and an 88-yard score. Northey hauled in six passes for 112 yards and had a 30-yard TD. Bruce Cobb rushed 14 times for 101 yards and a 30-yard touchdown for Colleyville Heritage.
What’s next? Colleyville Heritage will host Denton at 7 p.m. on Friday Nov. 9 at Coppell in the regular season finale with a chance to secure a playoff berth. Birdville will travel to the Collins Complex in Denton on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. to face, also undefeated, Denton Ryan in a showdown for the district title and top seed.