Top 25 Games of 2014: No. 8, John Tyler at Ennis
District 16-5A is among the toughest districts in the state, and it is the single hardest league to project from top to bottom.
That being said, John Tyler and Ennis look strong entering the 2014 season. Both teams are ranked as top 10 Texas Class 5A teams by the Associated Press. The meeting between the two on Oct. 17 in Ennis should have implications for the rest of the district.
It's ETSN.fm's No. 8 game in our countdown of the top 25 best match ups of the season.
No. 2 Ennis was in the first breath of the state's best football teams in the early 2000s. It took a small dip after its 2004 state championship win, but the program seems back on the elite track. Jack Alvarez's team was the only group all season to give Aledo a decent game least year when the two teams met in the state semifinals -- Ennis' first run that deep since 2004.
No. 8 JT certainly is in for a test. On the road.
Both teams have plenty of weapons.
Ennis returns defensive end James Lockhart, a state-ranked Texas A&M commitment. Quarterback Devin Smith threw for 20 touchdowns and about 2,100 yards. A great running back group should cause problems for all opponents this season.
The team has no glaring weaknesses.
But neither does JT as one of East Texas' best hopes for a 2014 state championship among Class 5A schools.
Ricklan Holmes' team has its own good quarterback in Central Arkansas commitment Geovari McCollister. Rodney Bendy, a North Texas pledge, and Nick Cain headline a really good mix of receivers.
Running the ball isn't much of a concern either. Jeremy Wilson was the fastest player at the 2014 ETSN.fm Football Recruiting Combine in June with a 4.41 40-yard dash time and McCollister can move on the ground.
Defensive back Isaac Warren, a Purdue commitment, anchors a defensive unit with at least one college football prospect at all position groups.
This meeting should be a talent show with equal parts of great defense and explosive plays.
It might just serve as the district championship game.
ETSN.fm's Top 25 Games of 2014
- No. 8: John Tyler at Ennis
- No. 9: Pittsburg at Gladewater
- No. 10: Whitehouse at Texas High
- No. 11: Longview at Lufkin
- No. 12: John Tyler at Whitehouse
- No. 13: Kilgore at Texas High
- No. 14: Lufkin at Nacogdoches
- No. 15: Longview at Texas High
- No. 16: Whitehouse vs. Chapel HIll
- No. 17: Kilgore at Nacogdoches
- No. 18: Alto at Tenaha
- No. 19: Longview vs. Monroe Neville
- No. 20: Athens at Van
- No. 21: Nacogdoches at Carthage
- No. 22: Lufkin at John Tyler
- No. 23: Sulphur Springs at Whitehouse
- No. 24: Nacogdoches at John Tyler
- No. 25: Van at Lindale