Chapel Hill and Whitehouse both lost eight games last year.

Both won their season openers.

Both make the short trip to Tyler knowing none of those results matter when it comes to the two Lake Tyler rivals.

Whitehouse and Chapel Hill face off for the seventh straight year at 7:30 p.m. Friday from Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

After starting the season 1-0, both will be eager to make it 2-0 at the expensive of a local rival.

"They're a great program; it's always a good game for us," Wildcats coach Adam Cook said. "The thing I like about it is it creates that playoff-like atmosphere."

Whitehouse has won the last four meetings in the series. Chapel Hill's last victory came in 2011 by a 59-49 score line. Coach Thomas Sitton's squad went on to win the state title that year.

"When we play each other it's always a good battle and the kids play hard on both sides," Sitton continued. "We just haven't come out on top enough times."

After finishing 3-8 last year, Chapel Hill (1-0) opened the 2016 season with a 26-9 victory over Wills Point. The Tigers led 7-0 before the Bulldogs pulled away for the win.

"We had some explosive plays on offense (last week) but we have to be more consistent," Sitton said. "We played really good defense against Wills Point and we have to continue to improve.

"We had a great week of practice and the kids are focused and working hard for each other."

Cook said Chapel Hill's speed is something that can cause problems for any team.

"They're very athletic, very fast," Cook said. "More particular, the defensive line, they've got some guys that are fast and quick. Seems like every year new crop of them come through."

Chapel Hill senior Andrian Miner rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown while Jaxon Heckel completed 13 of 24 passes for 171 yards and an 87-yard touchdown to Hunter Branin.

"They have big-play explosiveness," Cook said.

Whitehouse, which went winless in district play to finish 2-8 in 2015, picked up an important win in the opener, downing Hallsville 28-15. It was the Wildcats' first win since beating Sulphur Springs on Sept. 11.

"It was big to get that win," Cook said. "It had been a little while since these young men had won. For us to get that first W, gain a little confidence against a good program in Hallsville, I think was good for us to start off the season."

Senior quarterback Tanner Roach led the Wildcats to a 21-0 lead and completed 14 of 19 passes for 94 yards, rushing for two scores and catching another. Clayton Cook ran for 114 yards and a touchdown.

The key for Whitehouse was the defense, which started with three straight three-and-outs. The Bobcats were held to 292 total yards of offense.

"Defense played really, really well," said Cook, who brought in Marcus Gold as a new defensive coordinator this year.

That might mean a little more defense in this matchup than in recent years. Whitehouse won last season 51-21 and in the lowest winning point total between the two in the last six years was 38.

But just like in any rivalry, both teams know none of that matters when the two take the field on Friday.

"Coach Sitton and his staff do a great job," Cook said. "You always know they're going to play you hard. You can always throw out the records; you can always throw out the big-name players. You just know it's going to be a battle."

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- Staff writer Chris Parry contrinuted to this story.

 

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