Former district rivals have become perennial non-district foes in a matchup of East Texas powerhouses. Daingerfield is the region's leader in state championships with six, while Gilmer alumnus Jeff Traylor has brought the Buckeyes to statewide prominence with two crowns and a runner-up finish since 2000.

Daingerfield leads the all-time series 29-27 thanks in part to a 13-game winning streak from 1976-90, but Gilmer has owned the series lately, winning six consecutive games against the Tigers and spoiling perfect seasons during Daingerfield's back-to-back-to-back state title runs from 2008-10. During that span, the Tigers went 44-3, but all three losses came to Gilmer, which has outscored Daingerfield 284-141 during its six-year winning streak (average score of 47.3-23.5) against the Tigers.

This year's matchup features teams breaking in new quarterbacks, but with plenty of talent everywhere on the field. Josh Walker (Gilmer) and Calvin Bryant (Daingerfield) give each team playmaking linebackers, while versatile athletes Chase Tate (Gilmer) and Edwin Mims (Daingerfield) will cause fits for opposing defenses. In fact, Mims might be the Tigers’ new signal caller.

Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine expects both teams to be contenders. The publication picked Daingerfield to win the 2A Division I Region II championship and slots the Tigers fourth in the state entering the season, while Gilmer is ranked 12th in 3A and is picked to win the District 16-3A title.

Top 25 Games of the Year

No. 25: John Tyler vs. Tyler Lee