One is the defending state champion, one finished runner up.

Both have a storied history and will look to prove themselves the better team in this Sept. 14 non-district game.

Newton and West Orange-Stark are programs with a winning tradition. Newton went undefeated en route to the Class 3A Division II championship this past season. West Orange-Stark had the longest active winning streak in Texas high school football before Pleasant Grove got the better of it in the championship game in Arlington.

Newton returns 17 starters from this past season and is favored to repeat as champions. Two-way standout Tamauzia Brown led East Texas with 12 interceptions in 2017 and also dazzled with his receiving ability. He'll be joined by running back Darwin Barlow, quarterback Josh Foster and offensive lineman Caiden Walker on an offense that should put up an abundance of points.

The defense will be just as good. With Brown, defensive lineman James Sylvester and linebacker Jadrian McGraw back, there won't be many points scored against this unit.

The Mustangs, on the other hand, return only seven starters. However, if history is any indication, they will reload just fine. Kayvn Cooper is back at running back and linebacker after excelling at both positions a season ago. The offensive line has experience and defensive backs Teshaun Teel and Ja'Vonn Ross are back after all-district performances.

Mark this one on your calendar if you're a fan of good football games.

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