These two East Texas powerhouses have a combined seven state championships since 2004, and it's always a slugfest when Gilmer and Carthage get together.

Yet again, the Buckeyes and Bulldogs will face off in a Saturday night showdown on Sept. 17 in Carthage.

It checks in at No. 4 on's list of the top 25 games of 2016.

Gilmer WR LaMarcus Morton. (Rob Graham,
Gilmer WR LaMarcus Morton. (Rob Graham,

Gilmer, having won 31 of its last 32 games, brings back a significant number of talented playmakers from last season's 4A Division II state semifinalist.

Offensively, the Buckeyes welcome back receiver and Oklahoma State commit LaMarcus Morton and versatile running back Kelton Collier.

On the defensive side of the ball, Gilmer will be led by safety and Louisiana Tech pledge Kollin Hurt, who led the area in interceptions a year ago with 11.

Carthage graduated 4,000-yard passer Jarod Blissett and 1,500-yard receiver Jakeldric Jackson from last season's 4A Division I semifinalist, but does return standout running back Keaontay Ingram and a strong offensive line anchored by Tanner Elliott.

The Bulldogs' defense will be a strength in 2016 with the return of defensive end Tre Gatlin, linebacker Mykel Gates, and defensive backs Mekhi Colbert and Nic Moore.’s Top 25 Games of 2016

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