Game on the Line

Tigers and Razorbacks face off in annual showdown


Photo by Holland Rainwater

Former wide receiver Tevailance Hunt is met by Arkansas High defenders after catching a pass. The Tigers lost last season’s matchup by a score of 7-0.

Story by John Morgan, sports editor

The 104th edition of the Battle of the Axe takes place tonight as the Tigers square off against archrival Arkansas High at Tiger Stadium at 7 p.m.

The Tigers are coming off of the wrong side of a blowout in a 56-7 loss to Pflugerville Hendrickson. Miscues and turnovers were keys for the Tigers to fix over the course of the week.

“We have to do better as a team and keep the energy up against Arkansas High,” senior safety Chris Lyles said. “Last year, we lost to them, so this year, we’ve got to go back down for the win.”

The Tigers hope to avenge a 7-0 loss in last year’s game. While they lost many players in the spring, this has allowed new playmakers to rise and make their claim for revenge.

“Expect us to go out there firing,” Lyles said. “We hope to go out there with the best team they’ve ever seen.”

The Razorbacks have started the year off strong with wins over Shiloh Christian and Liberty-Eylau. This is the first time that they have been 2-0 to start a season since 2014, the last time the Razorbacks beat the Tigers on the road.

This year’s matchup comes days after a landmark economic development plan for the regions of Northeast Texas and Southwest Arkansas was announced to unite the two in financial prosperity. A bit of irony exists when the city’s major rivalry will be the event to cap the week.

“I’m proud of what the student athletes are doing both in Texas and Arkansas,” Texas governor Greg Abbott said. “We’ve got two states competing but also working collaboratively together for the greater good each day.”

This type of game is unique in the fact that it draws states closer together while also recognizing their differences. The rivalry is real on the field but brushed aside in the workplace.

“Football is part of a culture as almost like a religion,” Abbott said. “This is the time to celebrate as families and teams for what people put into what our focus is. Part of that is on football.”

Regardless of fandom, all eyes will be on Tiger Stadium as both teams look to claim citywide bragging rights.