The high school football season will officially kick off in the Rose City on Thursday with the Tyler Football Classic and All Saints meeting Timpson.

Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Clyde-Perkins Stadium on the campus of Grace Community School, 3001 University Blvd.

Azalea Orthopedics and Texas Spine and Joint Hospital are sponsoring the eighth annual event.

The Classic continues on Friday with Grace meeting San Augustine, while on Saturday Bishop T.K. Gorman takes on Beckville. Both the Friday and Saturday games have 7:30 p.m. kickoffs.

Tickets for the event are $6 for adults, $4 for children under 12, and may be purchased at the gate. No district passes may be used.

The Classic is on a rotation basis for the Tyler area private schools — Grace, All Saints and Gorman.

“This is a great chance for high school football players and fans to gather before the official season starts,” Dr. Matthew Jones, Azalea Orthopedics sports medicine surgeon, said. “Sponsoring the event is a great way for Azalea Orthopedics and Texas Spine and Joint Hospital to show how proud they are of the high school programs in East Texas.”

For the second straight season, All Saints is playing an independent schedule. The Trojans opened last season with a 25-14 loss to Timpson. They hope to turn that result around.

New Trojan coach Mike Hall said his team must contain the speedy Bears.

“They’re fast, got some good size,” Hall said. “(Timpson Coach) James (Conway) came in … not sure what they had done in the past, they’re playing good football. So I anticipate a team that’s building off a nine-win season and I think we’ll have our hands full.”

All Saints quarterback Matt Brunson is returning healthy with Jordan Bayonne set for running back duties.

The Bears, 9-2 a season ago, finished second in District 9-1A Division I. Timpson did graduate several seniors.

Running back Colton McSwain leads the way for the Bears, along with offensive lineman Dimric Caraway.

On Sept. 6, Timpson plays host to Cushing, while All Saints meets Union Grove at Mewbourne Field in Tyler.

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