Not only have Gilmer and Henderson won two of the last three Class 3A Division I state championships, but since becoming district mates in District 16-3A, they have given football fans plenty of drama.

Gilmer erased a 28-10 third-quarter deficit in the 2010 matchup at Lion Stadium and won 29-28, giving the Lions their second consecutive loss. Henderson responded by winning its next six games to finish 13-2 with a Class 3A Division I state championship, the Lions’ first in school history. Last season, Gilmer erased a 14-0 first-quarter deficit, forcing seven Henderson turnovers to subdue the Lions 35-20 as the Buckeyes won the “District of Doom” crown and finished 13-1 as a Division II quarterfinalist.

But the past two seasons aren’t the first time Henderson and Gilmer have played league contests. Henderson swept the Buckeyes 14-0 and 48-0 during Gilmer’s brief Class 4A stay in 1997-98, so the 2010-11 meetings perhaps served as payback.

Now Henderson’s looking for the payback after dropping two disappointing losses to the Buckeyes. On Oct. 13 at Longview's Lobo Stadium, a deep and athletic defense could help the Lions stop the streak from reaching three. Defensive lineman Bo Brady had 17 sacks a year ago, and linebacker Jamaal Kind is poised for a big senior season.

Gilmer must make big changes offensively after the graduations of Luke Turner (Rice) and Jordan Traylor, their two-headed quarterback in 2011. Tanner Barr and Jaidon Parrish, a pair of juniors, could share duties running Gilmer’s spread offense, while sophomore athlete Chase Tate might be tasked to counter Henderson jack-of-all-trades Patrick “Monster” Brown’s three-phase exploits.

Saturday night at Lobo Stadium should be rocking for these two, who should almost certainly be playing for playoff positioning, if not more, in this contest.

Top 25 Games of the Year

No. 5: The Woodlands vs. Lufkin

No. 6: Longview vs. Mesquite

No. 7: Arp vs. Tatum

No. 8: John Tyler vs. Corsicana

No. 9: Henderson vs. Chapel Hill

No. 10: Henderson vs. Kilgore

No. 11: Carthage vs. Chapel Hill

No. 12: Kilgore vs. Chapel Hill

No. 13: Chapel Hill vs. Gilmer

No. 14: Alto vs. San Augustine

No. 15: Texas High vs. Sulphur Springs

No. 16: Waco La Vega vs. Palestine

No. 17: Hughes Springs vs. Elysian Fields

No. 18: Gilmer vs. Atlanta

No. 19: Whitehouse vs. Carthage

No. 20: Daingerfield vs. New Boston

No. 21: Carlisle vs. Big Sandy

No. 22: Palestine vs. Jacksonville

No. 23: Tenaha vs. San Augustine

No. 24: Gilmer vs. Daingerfield

No. 25: John Tyler vs. Tyler Lee