A lot could be riding on this year's District 9-2A Division I matchup between Tatum and Troup on Oct. 18.

In what is widely expected to be one of the best district races in East Texas in 2013, Tatum and Troup are two of the teams that enter the year with district-championship aspirations after the two shared the league title a season ago.

Troup got off to a hot start last year, taking a 6-0 record into the meeting at Tatum. Many expected the Tigers to come back down to earth, and for a while it looked as if Troup was in over its head.

Tatum led 10-0 going into the fourth quarter, but Troup scored on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter and held on for a 14-10 win.

Both Tatum and Troup must replace several important pieces from 2012, but several impact players are back on both sides. Jaylen Shans, after seeing extensive playing time a year ago, is expected to carry the load in the backfield for Tatum.

Troup's backfield is stacked as well with the return of Marcus Kincade the arrival of Bullard Brook Hill-transfer D'Louis West, to go with star quarterback Blake Lynch.

Tatum, Troup and White Oak each went 4-1 to share the district title in 2012, so this early-district matchup could play a major role in deciding this year's league crown.

 ETSN.fm 2013 Preseason Top 25 Games of the Year