Top 25 Games of 2015: No. 25, Tatum At Newton
The games remembered most by fans are the ones where their teams run into an opponent that is a spinning image of itself.
Tatum at Newton on opening Friday night. The pretty big affair Aug. 28 at Newton's Singletary Stadium leads off ETSN.fm's countdown of the Top 25 Games of 2015.
You want talent? It'll be on display, and it's the smaller Newton program with the bigger names this time around.
Linebacker Tanner Holmes, a Louisiana-Lafayette verbal commitment, rose to stardom last season en route to an appearance in the Class 3A Division II state championship game against Waskom. Likewise, running back Gabe Foster's film has attracted teams from as far away as the Big Ten Conference.
And they're just in the first breath when listing off 14 returning starters.
Not so fast though.
Tatum returns eight starters that rode out arguably East Texas' toughest regular season schedule and then went three playoff rounds deep in Class 4A Division II. Last season's slate included Newton, Gilmer, Liberty-Eylau, Chapel Hill and a district lineup against Gladewater, Atlanta, Center, Spring Hill and Pleasant Grove.
You want nail-biting circumstances? This game should provide it.
Both teams are comfortable pounding the ball for yardage. That'll burn the clock and amplify mistakes.
You want passion in a non-district game environment?
Newton will simultaneously try to avenge a 39-7 loss to Tatum last season as well as the bad taste left by the title game. Tatum is trying to right the ship from an inconsistent 2014 campaign.
Tatum at Newton can help the winning team set in motion the wheels of a special season. But the losing team will have to live yet another long week before an opportunity to release old frustrations.