Liberty Hill clashes with Crosby in 5A D2 semis

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Liberty Hill gets ready to play Austin LBJ on Sept. 16, 2021 (KXAN Photo)

KXAN file photo (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It was an insane finish in last year’s playoffs, and one Liberty Hill would like to reverse when it clashes Friday with Crosby in the Class 5A Division 2 semifinals in Bryan.

In the semifinals last year, Crosby escaped with a 62-61 overtime victory after the Panthers fumbled the ball inside the 1-yard-line on the 2-point conversation to try to win it. Crosby lost the state title game to Aledo the following week in Arlington.

This year, the Panthers and its run-heavy slot-T offense are making another deep playoff run with 11 new starters on offense. The squad averages more than 390 rushing yards per game and is led by a pair of sophomores in Noah Long and Joe Pitchford. Long has rushed for 1,911 yards and 27 touchdowns while Pitchford has 1,016 yards on the ground with 14 touchdowns.

Reese Vickers had to take over at quarterback in the middle of the season after senior Will Szewczyk broke his arm.

Liberty Hill handed Alamo Heights its first loss of the season in a thrilling 43-40 quarterfinal victory. Vickers scored a pair of touchdowns, and Andon Thomas scored twice and ran for 110 yards.

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