A date that's been circled on the calendar since the 2014 schedules were released finally arrives this Friday night, as longtime rivals Lufkin and John Tyler renew acquaintances with several storylines providing the backdrop.

The two East Texas powers clash at 7:30 p.m. Friday night from Tyler's Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Both Lufkin (3-2, 1-1 in District 16-5A) and John Tyler (4-1, 2-0)) enter this week's showdown ranked in the state's top 10 by the Associated Press. The Panthers check in at No. 10, while the Lions are ranked fifth.

Lufkin WR KeKe Coutee. (Christopher R. Vinn, ETSN.fm)

And besides carrying bragging rights all the way through to next season, there are a couple of big items at stake in this matchup.

The winner of Friday's game could emerge the favorite to challenge preseason 16-5A favorite Ennis (3-2, 2-0) for league supremacy, while the loser would likely be destined for a rematch with Longview in the first round of the 5A Division I playoffs.

Lufkin snapped a two-game losing streak by a hanging on for a 52-45 home win over Whitehouse last week.

Panthers quarterback Trey Cumbie passed for four touchdowns, and ran for another in the win. Running back Steven Sowell put up 181 yards rushing and a touchdown on 31 carries, while receivers KeKe Coutee and Terry Mark combined on 11 receptions for 203 yards and three touchdowns.

Since a 37-31 loss to crosstown rival Tyler Lee on Sept. 12, John Tyler has dominated its first two district opponents, outscoring Whitehouse and Lindale by a combined score of 128-30.

John Tyler scored almost every way imaginable last week against Lindale. The Lions returned two interceptions, one fumble, one punt and one kickoff for a touchdown in the win. Jeremy Wilson led John Tyler's offensive effort by rushing for 163 yards and four touchdowns on only 10 carries.

Be sure to check out the Lufkin-John Tyler 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.