Friday Night’s Tussle Between Old Rivals John Tyler + Longview The ETSN.fm + Dairy Queen Game of the Week
John Tyler and Longview, former longtime district rivals, have not met on the field since 2011. That all changes Friday night when the Lions pay a visit "Lobo Land" for the ETSN.fm + Dairy Queen Game of the Week.
Aside from the game drawing national interest from the Great American Rivalry Series, which selected this week's contest for inclusion, it could serve as an early-season measuring stick for each team.
John Tyler was impressive, especially defensively, in its season-opening 30-12 victory over Plano last Friday. The Lions forced four turnovers -- scoring touchdowns on two of them -- and limited Plano to just 211 yards of offense, and only nine in the first half.
The victory was impressive enough for John Tyler (1-0) to move up six spots to No. 2 in this week's Associated Press Class 5A poll. A road win over a traditional power like Longview could further strengthen JT's case a legitimate contender in 5A.
Longview experienced opposite emotions following last week's 44-14 setback to another longtime rival -- Lufkin. With Longview already trailing 24-14 late in the first half, the Lobos allowed a long punt return for a touchdown as time expired, sending Longview into the locker room with a 17-point deficit it never cut into in the second half.
The Lobos (0-1), subsequently, dropped out of the top 10 rankings in 5A after beginning the season ranked No. 3. Longview is out to prove last week's disappointing performance has been put to rest.
Since Tyler ISD opened up a second public school -- Lee High School -- in 1958, John Tyler and Longview have met 54 times -- 52 coming when the two shared the same district.
Longview has won 10 of the past 11 meetings, and leads the all-time series, 33-18-3.
Be sure to check out the John Tyler-Longview game preview Wednesday morning on ETSN.fm, follow staff writer Clint Buckley (@ClintBuckley) for updates throughout the game, and head back to ETSN.fm late Friday night or early Saturday morning for complete game coverage.