It hasn't taken very long, but the rivalry between John Tyler and Whitehouse has rapidly developed into one of East Texas' very best over the last couple of seasons.

In each of the last two years, the game has decided the district championship. And both games came down to the wire, leaving everyone to wonder what happens next?

John Tyler QB Geovari McCollister. (Christopher R. Vinn,

This year's encounter -- Sept. 26 at Whitehouse's Wildcat Stadium -- kicks off the new District 16-5A season and will undoubtedly set the tone for how each team's season will continue from there. JT vs. Whitehouse checks in at No. 12 on's list of the top 25 games of 2014.

In 2012, the Lions and Wildcats entered the final week of the regular season unbeaten in district. John Tyler was the favorite, coming into the game ranked No. 2 in the state, but Whitehouse was unfazed. The Wildcats raced out to a 24-0 lead midway through the second quarter, only to see JT cut the deficit to 24-10 before halftime. Before it was all said and done, the Lions had completely erased the 24-point deficit to claim a heart-stopping 45-38 victory.

The storylines were reversed going into last year's season finale in Whitehouse. While both were undefeated in district, it was Whitehouse that came in with the state ranking. The back-and-forth affair eventually came down to the final seconds when Whitehouse thwarted the potential go-ahead two-point conversion for a 55-54 win that gave the Wildcats their first 10-0 regular season in history.

It seems illogical to expect that kind of drama for a third consecutive year, but here's hoping the 2014 installment of JT/Whitehouse is not short on thrills.'s Top 25 Games of 2014