Top 25 Games of 2015: No. 16, Longview at John Tyler
In one of the longest running rivalries in East Texas, former district foes Longview and John Tyler square off in the Rose City on Sept. 5, a contest that checks in at No. 16 on ETSN.fm's list of the top 25 games of 2015.
Longview has an edge in recent series history, but the Lions captured last season's matchup at Lobo Stadium with a 41-25 victory. This year's clash will be the third and final game of the annual Trinity Mother Frances Classic at Rose Stadium.
As always, both teams enter the new season with high expectations.
Longview, which captured the District 15-5A championship a season ago, returns nine starters from last season's 9-3 area-round finalist. Senior running back Tylan Miller will be the focal point of the Lobos' offense this season after rushing for nearly 1,500 yards a year ago.
The Lobos also should be solid on the offensive line, despite the graduation of Texas Tech signee Broderick Washington. Mammoth linemen Tim Clay (6-6, 385) and junior Kendall Starling (6-3, 330) will form a tough combination for opposing defensive lines.
Defensively, Longview will counter with a D-line anchored by Kybrian Sheridan, a linebacking corps featuring Kendravian White, and secondary patrolled by Keenan Madden and Ameron Dean.
John Tyler lost several playmakers from last year's 12-3 state semifinalist squad, but the Lions are high on a few of the underclassmen, including junior quarterback Bryson Smith, junior receiver and Texas commit Damion Miller, and sophomore running back Tre Allison.
The Lions also figure to be strong on defense, especially up front with the return of linemen Braylon Jones, a Houston pledge, and fellow senior Pierre Leonard. The secondary will be anchored by safety Bryston Gipson.