AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — The Liberty Hill Panthers are advancing to the state semifinals for the second straight year after beating previously undefeated Alamo Heights 43-40.

It was a much closer battle for the Panthers than they’ve had in the previous three rounds, which they won by at least three touchdowns each.

Alamo Heights took the early lead, and held a 19-14 lead at halftime.

In the second half, Liberty Hill turned it up a notch, and took a 29-26 lead after a short touchdown run from Andon Thomas.

However, the turning point of the game was after Thomas’ touchdown; on the ensuing kickoff, the Panthers decided to attempt an onside kick, and it worked with Thomas recovering the ball quite easily.

That led to a Reese Vickers sneak for a touchdown that gave Liberty Hill their biggest lead of the game.

Alamo Heights wouldn’t give up, the Mules made it a three point game after a touchdown late in the 4th quarter.

Liberty Hill’s response was to go to Andon Thomas and he provided the answer that Panthers fans were hoping for, scoring on a touchdown run in which he was basically untouched going up the middle to give the Panthers the 43-33 lead.

Alamo Heights would score a touchdown but they weren’t able to stop the Panthers and get the ball back, and Liberty Hill escaped with the three point victory.

Next up for Liberty Hill, will be a state semifinal matchup against Crosby. The Cougars beat Texas High in their regional final matchup 14-7.