Whitehouse snapped a three-year playoff drought last season, and with the most experienced team in District 17-5A coming into the new year, the Wildcats are hungry for more.

Standing in the way of a potential district championship is perennial state power Ennis, which has defeated Whitehouse in each of the last three seasons.

These two teams clash in Whitehouse in the 17-5A opener on Oct. 13 in our ninth-best game of the 2017 regular season.

Whitehouse was close last year, dropping a heartbreaking 24-21 decision at Ennis.

Fifth-year head coach Adam Cook, however, welcomes back 17 starters.

Headlining the experienced offense are quarterback Jake Clemons, receiver and Texas Tech commit Cameron Cantrell, and lineman Mitchell Melrose.

The defense, which limited opponents to just 19 points per game during the 2016 regular season, should once again be one of East Texas' best units.

Linemen Trevor Lawrence (Texas State pledge) and Christian Owens, linebacker KJ McDade, and defensive back Javier Neal will anchor the Whitehouse "D."

Ennis is not quite as experienced (12 returning starters), but the Lions feature two of the most dynamic offensive players in the region in running backs Tycen Thompson and Kyrie Holloway.

Defensively, Ennis is led by a trio of Division I recruits -- linebacker K.D. Davis (Louisiana Tech commit), and defensive backs Chris McDonald (UTSA pledge) and Kevion Gabriel.

Whitehouse's final three non-district games -- Carthage, Sulphur Springs, and Kennedale -- lead into Whitehouse' bye week right before its battle with Ennis.

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