John Tyler vs Longview

John Tyler vs Longview, on Friday September 14, 2018, at Lobo Stadium. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

Looking for a high-profile rivalry showcasing some of the strongest high school football programs in the country, ESPN found what it was looking for in Longview and John Tyler.

Now, the entire country will get to see the Lobos and Lions square off.

Officially announced on Tuesday, the Thursday, Sept. 12 showdown between Longview and John Tyler will be featured on the 2019 GEICO ESPN High School Showcase and will air live on ESPN2.

Kickoff for the 96th meeting between the two schools is set for 7 p.m. at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler.

“This is great for East Texas football and Texas high school football for that matter,” Longview athletic director and head football coach John King said. “This is always a great matchup between two teams that represent Texas high school football and their respective communities.”

The 2019 edition of the rivalry will be one of 11 games highlighted by ESPN throughout the season and one of three that features Texas high school programs.

Perennial power Katy will take on 2018 Class 6A, Division I state champion North Shore in Week 1 at Galena Park ISD Stadium in Houston on ESPNU.

On Sept. 5, Parish Episcopal will host Trinity Christian on ESPN2.

King said the Lobos, who won the Class 6A, Division II state championship with a 16-0 record in 2018, were contacted this offseason about the possibility of being added to the showcase.

John Tyler finished with a 10-3 record in 2018 and reached the Class 5A, Division I quarterfinals before falling to eventual state champion Highland Park.

“This is a great rivalry and is always a great game between these two teams that now the nation will get to see, not just the fans in East Texas,” John Tyler head coach Ricklan Holmes said. “They reached out earlier this year because of the talent that both teams have coming back as well as the success that both teams had this past season.”

The contest will feature two players in the ESPN300 player rankings. Longview quarterback Haynes King, a Texas A&M commit, is the 18th-ranked player on the list and the No. 1 quarterback. John Tyler defensive back Kitan Crawford, a Texas verbal pledge, is No. 85 on the list.

The matchup, where Longview currently holds a 50-38-7 record, according to Lobo football historian Bill Simpson, is the seventh televised game since 1997 for the Lobos. Longview and Tyler Lee were featured on Fox Sports Southwest in 2005.

Longview enters the 2019 edition on a two-game win streak against the Lions and the Lobos are 4-3 against John Tyler since 2010, when the teams renewed the rivalry after a three-year break.

The Lobos open the season against Lufkin on Aug. 30 while John Tyler hosts Mesquite Horn.

Follow Hayden Henry on Twitter: @hayden_h