TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The 2020 football season is here, and due to COVID-19 it will look different. One thing that won’t be different this year are the big-time matchups.
The new season of the Red Zone kicks off Friday night Aug. 28 in East Texas following the 10 p.m. news on both KLTV and KTRE. The first Game of the Week for 2020 will be Carthage, the 4A DI defending champs, traveling to Kilgore in a battle of the Bulldogs.
The circumstances behind coronavirus brought these two once-district rivals together. Carthage was set to play 5A Crosby in week 1 and Kilgore was supposed to meet up with 5A Nacogdoches. Due to the two different start dates for classifications, the two were left looking for week 1 opponents.
“It just made sense that we played each other week 1,” Kilgore head coach Mike Wood said. “It’s good East Texas football and both of our communities are passionate about football.”
Last year Carthage won their only meeting 49-11. The last time Kilgore won in their rivalry was a 41-31 win in 2016.
“We are excited to get to game week,” Carthage Head Coach Scott Surratt said. “Kilgore is always really physical. They are going to run the ball well and defensively they are going to tackle well. They line up good. They are always sound. They play good football.”
Carthage is coming off of their third state title in four seasons and look good enough to make it back to state.
“Carthage has set the bar high as a program,” Wood said. “We will show up and play hard and see if we can make a game of it.”
Kickoff between Carthage and Kilgore will be Aug. 28 at 7:30 p.m. from R. E. St. John Memorial Stadium.