West Rusk and Arp meet in battle for title - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

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West Rusk and Arp meet in battle for title

In 19-2A, this is the matchup we've all been waiting for. Undefeated and top-ranked Arp hosting one-loss West Rusk on the last night of the regular season. It's a huge matchup...or is it?

"Everybody's building this up to be a big game," Arp defensive lineman Theo Crawford said. "It's just another step in the journey. Our goal isn't to beat West Rusk, it's to win state. They're just in our way."

"We look at it as a test to see how far we've come," West Rusk defensive end Braylon Williams said.

"It's just another game," Arp linebacker Garrett Williams said. "I don't want anyone to take that wrong, but it's just another step up the ladder to a state championship. Te end goal is to be a state champion."

Yes, this battle of two of the top 2A teams in the area is a big one, and both teams are looking forward to staking their claim to the district championship. But both of these teams also recognize that by reaching this point, they've also reached one of their goals.

"It mean we've obtained our goal," West Rusk defensive lineman Beau Bower said. "And we get an extra week of football."

"It's a great feeling to know you're already in, and you've got the community behind you," Williams said.

Both teams also know by getting to the playoffs, they've changed the way people look at their teams. For Arp, it's three of four years, for West Rusk, their first postseason since 2000.

"It feels great doing something West Rusk hasn't been able to do in the past eight years," West Rusk defensive end Felix Williams said. "Instead of going straight to the offseason, we get to come out here and do what we love."

"We've always had a tradition here," Williams said. "We will have a little more recognition because of this year and last year, but we've always had it."

Tonight, the biggest game of the year...until next week.

Reid Kerr can be reached at rkerr@kltv.com.

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