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Top 25 Games of 2014: No. 17, Kilgore at Nacogdoches

Nacogdoches quarterback Hunter McClellan is back at quarterback for the Dragons after suffering a season-ending broken arm last year. (Christopher R. Vinn,

Nacogdoches tailored a tough non-district schedule to supplement one of the roughest district slates in the State of Texas this season.

The fun begins Aug. 29 with its season-opener against Kilgore, the 2013 Class 3A Division II state runner-up, at Dragon Stadium.

This game checks in at No. 17 on the’s top 25 games of 2014 between the Bulldogs’ tradition and Nacogdoches’ star power.

Xaviar Gaona will have to be as good as advertised from start to finish. The senior quarterback will face the state’s best secondary in Week 1. (Christopher R. Vinn,

You know by now Dragons senior cornerback Jaylon Lane and junior safety Brandon Jones lead their respective East Texas graduating classes with more than 60 combined college football offers. Two players in the secondary are college caliber players as well in safety Corey Lane and cornerback Tay Forest.

Kilgore has an offense that can test Nacogdoches’ defensive right off the bat with five returning players, including running back Kevrin Justice and receiver Nick Orange.

Bulldogs quarterback Xavier Gaona is supposed to be a good one who can make plays on his feet and through the air. He’ll have to find his mark right out of the gate though.

Nacogdoches, meanwhile, returns seven offensive players.

Coronado Tolbert is a strong running back, receiver Alex Gregory has first-class speed at the wideout position and quarterback Hunter McClellan is back from a broken arm sustained last season.

The two teams match up very well across the ball and in the special teams departments.

This is a tone setting game, and it’s completely up for grabs.’s Top 25 Games of 2014

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