Top 25 Games Of 2015: No. 8, Nacogdoches At Lufkin
The Lufkin-Nacogdoches games were a formality for generations.
Now, the junior class at Nacogdoches High School is staring an opportunity in the face to not only enjoy a .500 record against their chief rivals but actually have eternal bragging rights over their counterparts at Lufkin. To get there, however, the Dragons will have to get it done at Abe Martin Stadium.
Nacogdoches at Lufkin is the No. 8 game on ETSN.fm's list of the Top 25 Games of 2015.
Without even breaking down the football teams, you have to tip your hat to the Lufkin faithful. Abe Martin Stadium and its environment surpass an outsider's wildest expectation even in a state as football-centric as Texas.
Home field advantage just doesn't get any better.
Lufkin's on-field product won't be bad, either. The Panthers team brings back eight starters from a team that could have stood toe-to-toe with anyone in the state last season.
Defensive end Bronson Massie headlines the group with offers from California and Washington among others. Offensive guard Jerrod Johnson will begin his senior season with an invitation to join Louisiana-Monroe.
Dual-threat junior quarterback Kordell Rodgers could join their ranks by season's end, but, more than just collegiate ceilings, the Panthers have never been short on high school talent to address key departures.
Yet the Nacogdoches program -- which was 0-10 just three years ago -- has its own set of already established playmakers.
Senior safety Brandon Jones is regarded as one of the best in the nation with 40 FBS scholarship opportunities, and he backs it up on the field. Fellow senior safety Corey Lane has a Louisiana Tech offer while senior receiver Alex Gregory is committed to Stephen F. Austin.
Furthermore, Bossier (La.) High School quarterback transfer Noah Hildebrand appears to be a two-year solution at quarterback. His big brother is on the Central Arkansas roster.
Jones will join Hildebrand in the backfield as one of several players hoping to replace powerful running back Coronado Tolbert by committee.
Rivalry, passion and a all-around promising match up will all be on display in the eighth-best game of 2015.
ETSN.fm's Top 25 Games of 2015
- No. 8: Nacogdoches at Lufkin
- No. 9: Tyler Lee at Rockwall
- No. 10: Van at Athens
- No. 11: Lufkin vs. West Monroe
- No. 12: Chapel Hill at Carthage
- No. 13: Waskom at Elysian Fields
- No. 14: John Tyler at Lufkin
- No. 15: Newton at West Orange-Stark
- No. 16: Longview at John Tyler
- No. 17: Chapel Hill vs. Whitehouse
- No. 18: Newton at Crockett
- No. 19: Tyler Lee at Sachse
- No. 20: Gilmer vs. Carthage
- No. 21: Atlanta at Liberty-Eylau
- No. 22: Tatum at Gilmer
- No. 23: Atlanta at Gladewater
- No. 24: Lufkin at Tyler Lee
- No. 25: Tatum at Newton