Top 25 Games Of 2015: No. 15, Newton At West Orange-Stark
Everything will still be ahead of Newton and West Orange-Stark when the two power players meet up in West Orange on Oct. 2, but there's no doubt both teams will really want to come out on top in this high-profile game.
Newton at West Orange-Stark checks in as the No. 15 game of 2015 as ETSN.fm counts down the top 25 upcoming regular season football games. It's already the Eagles' third appearance with games against Crockett and Tatum ranking a little lower on the list.
The meeting pits the Class 3A Division II state runner-up against the Class 4A Division II state runner-up. Both teams fell to East Texas teams last year, the Eagles to Waskom and the West Orange-Stark to Gilmer.
Newton and West Orange-Stark have to feel good about repeat appearances. The Eagles bring back 14 players. The Mustangs have five critical players back, headlined by junior quarterback Jack Dallas, and a handful of highly regarded newcomers.
As a school with less than half the students to chose from, you'd think Newton will play the underdog role. But the Eagles took a 19-7 win at home last season.
It was West Orange-Stark's turnaround moment. The school didn't lose another game until the state championship en route to a 13-3 record.
The 2015 meeting provides a significant contrast in offensive philosophies.
West Orange-Stark will air it out from the spread and should have a few opportunities to reel the game in if it starts to slip away. Louisiana-Lafayette linebacker commitment Tanner Holmes will have his hands full all night.
Newton will have to play flawless football with limited chances, but it can put West Orange-Stark to bed if it burns enough clock on the way to scores.
Barring injuries, both teams should be in great shape.
The Eagles will battle Tatum and Henderson ahead of time. West Orange-Stark will tango with Port Neches Grove and Jasper among others.
Championship pedigree and high expectations headline the 15th-best game of the year.
ETSN.fm's Top 25 Games of 2015
- 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