ARLINGTON – With their season on the line, facing a 4th and three from the Birdville 13 yard line with little more than a minute left, Saginaw Boswell turned to sophomore quarterback Gabe Kurtzhals to keep the Pioneers season alive. Kurtzhals delivered in the clutch as he eluded a Birdville blitz, rolled right and lofted a 13 yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Jonel Reed to lift Boswell (10-1) to a thrilling 36-33 win over Birdville (4-7) at AT&T Stadium in a Class 5A Division I Region I bi-district playoff.
Birdville came out and despite being the underdog took it to the favored Pioneers early jumping out to a 14-0 lead, while the Hawks defense held Boswell without a first down until 7:24 left in the first half. It was big plays that did the trick for Birdville as RB Donovan Franklin ripped off a 62 yard touchdown run, then Chris Tucker scored on a 54 yard touchdown pass from QB Clayton Beeter to give the Hawks the early egde. “Credit to Coach Holbrook and Birdville, they had a great game plan and their kids executed well. I’m just so proud of our seniors, they never panicked and at halftime they decided they were going to do everything possible to keep our season alive,” said Boswell HC John Abendschan.
Boswell would fight back behind a balanced running game and despite trailing 17-7 at half, Boswell had settled down. Treyvon Reeves’ 40 yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter gave the Pioneers their first lead of the game at 28-24.
Boswell had to sweat out the final minute of the game however, as with no timeouts remaining Birdville put together a last ditch drive to the Boswell 32 to give themselves a chance to tie the game with two seconds left. The 50 yard field goal try was no good and allowed Boswell to advance past the bi-district round for the second time in three seasons.
Kurtzhals, led the way for Boswell offensively with 223 total yards and two touchdown runs in addition to his game winning touchdown pass. Birdville was led by senior running back Donovan Franklin who ran for 91 yards and two touchdowns along with hauling in a 50 yard touchdown pass.
Saginaw Boswell will take on Burleson Centennial in the Class 5A Division I Region I Area Playoffs next Friday night at a location to be determined.