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'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.'s Top 25 Games of 2017

  • No. 25: Gilmer at Liberty-Eylau

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