Want to see two teams near midseason form in Week 2? Carthage at Liberty-Eylau is the game for you.

A rare contest between the Bulldogs and Leopards on Sept. 2 checks in as the 18th-best game as ETSN.fm counts down the top 25 games of the regular season. The two teams last met in the 2011 playoffs.

Carthage will have its mettle tested in its opening game. While it has a physical defense, it will run up against a Gladewater team that intends to bully it into submission with a power run game and hard hitters on the defensive side. Gladewater makes a great argument as the most physical team top-to-bottom in the region.

Carthage quarterback Kason Davis will have to watch his step against a tough Liberty-Eylau defense. (Rob Graham, ETSN.fm)

Liberty-Eylau will open its season with Gilmer for a third consecutive year. That will be an endurance test because Gilmer -- almost always a state championship contender -- has the numbers to rotate players over and over again on both sides of the ball.

So, the Bulldogs and Leopards won't exactly be coming off the couch when they face each other.

Both sides will still be working new quarterbacks in when they come face-to-face.

For Carthage, senior Kason Davis is someone they believe is capable of driving them to the promised land. Liberty-Eylau's situation is a little murkier with junior Decorian Phillips and sophomore Isaiah Cross vying to replace Ke'Mon Freeman, who is now at SMU.

The game should come down to defenses versus new offensive players in critical spots reducing mistakes.

Liberty-Eylau always has a mean streak on that side of the ball, and it possesses perhaps the most valuable defender in the area in Texas defensive end commitment Lagaryonn Carson.

Carthage has great size, particularly at linebacker with juniors Ahmad Brown and Mykel Gates as well as at defensive end with Tre Gatlin.

If you want to see a game where every possession matters, Carthage at Liberty-Eylau is the game for you.

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