Top 25 Games of 2017: No. 25, Gilmer at Liberty-Eylau
In what has become an annual tradition, another high school football season in East Texas will begin with perennial area powers Gilmer and Liberty-Eylau.
Instead this time, the two will meet in Texarkana on Friday, Sept. 1. Last season, the Buckeyes and Leopards opened Thursday night at a neutral site in Tyler.
This year's matchup checks in at No. 25 on ETSN.fm's list of the top 25 games of 2017.
It will mark the fourth consecutive year Gilmer and L-E have met in Week 1.
The 2017 installment might have a tough time stacking up against the previous two.
Two years ago, defending state champion Gilmer protected its home turf with a thrilling 50-45 win over a Liberty-Eylau team that eventually traveled four rounds deep in the 4A Division I playoffs.
Last season, Buckeyes quarterback Aaron "Poppy" Brown began his historic season with a debut for the ages. On his way to setting a single-season school record of 5,013 passing yards, Brown started his varsity career with a staggering 577 yards and six touchdowns -- also school records -- in the Buckeyes' wild 61-55 win.
Brown returns to lead a Gilmer team that brings back 11 starters from last year's 4A Division II semifinalist.
Liberty-Eylau, which broke in several new impact players in 2016, will come back more seasoned this fall after finishing 5-6 a year ago.
ETSN.fm's Top 25 Games of 2017
- No. 25: Gilmer at Liberty-Eylau