The 2012 District 16-3A championship game down to the final minute of the regular-season finale in a showdown at Gilmer's Buckeye Stadium.

Gilmer made a goal-line stand in the waning moments of the game to hold on for a 20-14 victory against Kilgore, giving the Bulldogs their first loss and the Buckeyes the "District of Doom" championship for the second consecutive year.

On Nov. 8, Gilmer will go for three in a row, but the Buckeyes will have to do it in enemy territory at Kilgore's R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium.

The hype for last year's game was huge, and the buildup to this year's showdown could be even bigger.

Gilmer RB/CB Kris Boyd. (

Both teams enter the season as consensus preseason top 10 teams by the Associated Press,, and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. Kilgore is sixth in the AP and TOC polls, but fifth in the Texas Football poll. Gilmer is even higher, garnering a No. 2 ranking from Texas Football and TOC and a No. 3 ranking from the AP.

Kilgore and Gilmer are expected to have strong defenses as each returns seven starters on that side of the ball. Kilgore held opponents to 7.4 points per game during the 2012 regular season and barely 11 points for the season as a whole. Benny Colbert picked off six passes, while LaDarrin Anthony had 12 sacks to put them among the region's leaders in those respective categories.

Gilmer boasts one of East Texas' best 3-4 outside linebacker duos in Texas A&M commit Josh Walker and Demarco Boyd, who had a big freshman season with 60 tackles and six sacks in 2012, plus junior cornerback Kris Boyd, who already holds offers from Oklahoma, TCU, Texas, and Texas Tech.

In other words, points may once again be tough to come by in this contest.

One thing is certain: like last year, regardless of who wins this game, both teams should be well-prepared for deep playoff runs in their respective divisions. 2013 Preseason Top 25 Games of the Year