In the 1940's, country music pioneer Tex Ritter wrote a popular song entitled, "Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair," the names of communities in Shelby County.

The phrase became a call for good luck during dice games, especially among U.S. soldiers during World War II. But in 2017, Tenaha and Timpson were back on the map for another reason.

The longtime rivals played twice, once during district and later in the Class 2A Division II state quarterfinals. Tenaha won both, eventually leading to a state finals appearance for the Tigers.

With Tenaha losing quite a bit to graduation, and Timpson returning one of the most productive running backs in East Texas, the gap between them may have shrunk.

Timpson RB Jordan Osby. (©
Timpson RB Jordan Osby. (©

When Timpson travels 10 miles up Highway 59 North on Sept. 29, District 11-2A Division I championship implications could be in the mix. It checks in at No. 9 on's list of the top 25 games of 2018.

Tenaha, 15-1 last season, brings back just eight starters and has a new head coach in Greg Jenkins. The Tigers graduated its dynamic offensive trio of quarterback CJ Horn, running back Onterio Thompson, and receiver Trai Gardner.

This season, receiver and defensive back Jay Lloyd and defensive lineman Juarmez Brock will be counted on to make up for some of the experience lost.

Timpson finished 11-3 in 2017, its best season since 2003, and returns 12 starters.

Senior running back Jordan Osby ran for more than 2,000 yards and 28 touchdowns a year ago, and is a legitimate all-state candidate heading into 2018.

Both Timpson and Tenaha are moving up from 2A Division II, and are now members of a district that includes three drop-downs from 3A (Garrison, Beckville, and Harleton), along with a pair of 2A D-I playoff teams from last season in Joaquin and Linden-Kildare.

While there is no guarantee either Tenaha or Timpson will win the new district, their Week 5 matchup could offer up some foreshadowing of what to expect in the later weeks of the season.'s Top 25 Games of 2018

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