Top 25 Games of 2014: No. 19, Longview vs. Monroe Neville
East Texas, or "Beast Texas" as it were, takes on the state of Louisiana the weekend of Sept. 12-13 at Shreveport's Independence Stadium in the annual Battle on the Border.
And what promises to be an exciting couple days of football all wraps up with what could be the event's signature matchup -- Longview vs. Monroe (La.) Neville, which checks in at No. 19 on ETSN.fm's list of the top 25 games of 2014.
Longview is certainly not new to the Battle on the Border, having earned a narrow 27-26 victory over Olive Branch, Miss., just last season.
The Neville Tigers are one of Louisiana's most storied programs. They are coming off a Class 4A state semifinals appearance last year.
Since World War II, Longview is 23-11 against out-of-state programs, and 19-11 vs. programs from Louisiana. But from 2001-09, the Lobos are 13-1 vs. "The Pelican State" -- the only loss a 19-15 defeat to West Monroe in 2006.
Longview's matchup with Neville, the first since 2004, is the final non-district game of the season for the Lobos, who receive a bye the next week before beginning 15-5A play.
The Lobos are one of East Texas' most successful programs with a seemingly endless crop of big-time players just waiting for their moment. Proof of this "reload, not rebuild mindset" is Longview's consistency since head coach John King took over prior to the 2004 season.
In King's 10-year tenure, Longview has eight 10-win seasons, has posted a record of 111-25 and been at least three rounds deep in the playoffs on eight separate occasions.