There is so much on the line, usually, when longtime rivals John Tyler and Lufkin square off against one another. This year's installment, scheduled for Oct. 9 at Lufkin's Abe Martin Stadium, checks in at No. 14 on's list of the top 25 games of 2015.

Since Tyler ISD opened a second high school in 1958, JT and Lufkin have met 55 times. During that time span, John Tyler leads the series, 27-25-3.

John Tyler DT Braylon Jones. (Rob Graham,

The Lions and Panthers are 3-3 against one another since 2009, with JT earning a 26-24 win on a last-second field goal by Luis Duran last season.

The victory kept the Lions unbeaten in district heading into the following week's showdown at Ennis, while the loss was one of five Lufkin defeats by seven points or less in 2014.

Each team was hit hard by graduation.

John Tyler lost its quarterback, running back, and two of its top playmakers in the receiving corps, to go along with three-fourths of its starting secondary.

Lufkin graduated its quarterback, running back, and two Division I receivers. The Panthers do have some experience returning on both the offensive and defensive lines.

The Panthers welcome back O-linemen Jerrod Johnson and Joseph Bell, along with defensive linemen Eric Smallwood and Bronson "Boom" Massie, who has a handful of Division I FBS scholarship offers.'s Top 25 Games of 2015