Birdville edged Boswell on Thursday night in an instant classic with a late two-point stop.
The Hawks were looking to ice the game with a 40-yard field goal, but the Pioneers blocked it. Eli Mbale picked it up and returned it 69-yards for the score.
Boswell went for the tying 2-point conversion, but the Hawks stuffed the run attempt with 1:37 left and hung on 29-27 to win the Class 5A Division I bi-district game at Birdville Fine Arts/Athletic Complex.
Trailing 21-13 at the half, the Hawks scored 16-unanswered points.
They forced Boswell to a three and out to begin the third quarter. Birdville’s Brendton Northey picked up 33 yards and two plays later Laderrious Mixon scored from the 3.
But the Hawks didn’t convert on a 2-point attempt and trailed 21-19 with 8:14 left in the frame.
Hosea Armstrong gave the Birdville offense the ball back four plays later after his interception. The Hawks stopped Boswell on a fake punt two drives later.
Ethan Ballentine gave Birdville a 22-21 lead with his 34-yard field goal early in the fourth and the Hawks made it 29-21 with 8:21 left after Earle hit Northey for a 26-yard touchdown.
Northey had eight grabs for 88 yards and two TDs while Earle passed for 170 yards. Mixon would finish with 25 carries for 94 yards and a TD.
Birdville (10-1) awaits Friday’s winner between Abilene Cooper and El Paso Eastwood.
The Hawks took the opening drive 71 yards in 13 plays and killed nearly half the quarter. Damian Morrell had nine carries with his ninth going for a 1-yard TD run. The extra point was blocked, but the Hawks led 6-0 at the 6:40 mark.
Boswell matched the Hawks’ drive with an 11-play and 75-yard drive. Brayden Thomas connected with Diontae Freeman on a 37-yard touchdown pass and 7-6 lead with 3:41 in the quarter.
The Pioneers (6-5) converted three third downs including Freeman’s TD which came on a third-and-14.
Birdville fumbled on its second drive and Boswell scored four plays later when Thomas and Freeman hooked up again for an 11-yard strike to put the Pioneers up 14-6 with 2:08 left.
The two teams traded punts before the Hawks cut it to 14-13 on Earle’s 23-yard TD to Northey that capped off an 11-play and 64-yard drive with 7:21 in the second.
Thomas threw his third TD pass of the half on the ensuing drive with a 20-yarder to Jordan Naylor to push Boswell’s lead to 21-13 three minutes later.
Boswell took that eight-point margin into the break after a 46-yard field goal attempt came up two yards short as time was expiring. Birdville’s Damon Lewis had sacked Thomas for a loss of 14 yards.
Thomas threw for 176 yards and three TDs. Freeman had five catches for 86 yards and two TDs and Derrick Berry was the leading rusher with 71 yards, but Boswell was held to 42 yards in the second half.