It's been too long since the last battle between these two East Texas heavyweights.

Van and Pittsburg met a decade ago in a 2008 playoff game. The Vandals eliminated Pittsburg, 35-14.

The schools will meet again in the regular season of 2018 when Van travels to Pittsburg for a non-district matchup Sept. 21.

Van LB AJ Zarate. (© Clint Buckley,
Van LB AJ Zarate. (© Clint Buckley,

Van is coming off of a 10-2 season in which it lost in the area round of the playoffs to Kennedale. The Vandals return a number of contributors from a year ago, but lose their most important. Quarterback Garrett Moseley (2,488 passing yards, 1,404 rushing) graduated, leaving the Vandals without their main source of offense.

They do, however, return three of their top four receivers and add linebacker A.J. Zarate on defense.

Pittsburg finished 6-5 a season ago and fell to Rusk in the first round of the playoffs. The Pirates return most of their key contributors, though, including receiver and defensive back Keontae Burns. Burns finished with 631 yards receiving and five touchdowns in 2017.

The Pirates also return quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson and running back and linebacker Jordan Turner.

In all, this game should be fairly even and a chance to take in what should be two of the top teams in the area.'s Top 25 Games of 2018

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