Many have marked their calendars since the conclusion of the 2018 3A Division I State Championship in December for this one.

On Friday night, the long-awaited rematch between the Malakoff Tigers (3-0) and the Grandview Zebras (3-0) will be going down at Tiger Stadium in Malakoff at 7:30 p.m.

This is the third meeting in the past 12 months for these two teams.

The last time they met at AT&T Stadium, the Zebras pulled away for the 35-21 victory for their first state title.

The championship itself was a rematch of the non-district game last September in Grandview as the Zebras won 28-7.

After a road and neutral-site game, the Tigers will now be playing on their home turf as that should be a key to finally knock off the Zebras.

Outside of some graduating seniors, Malakoff has the majority of last year’s state finalist squad.

Grandview has plenty of upperclassmen and returning players as well, including the QB-WR duo of State Championship MVP Dane Jentsch and Dametrious Crownover.

The Tiger offense averages 44.3 points in three games and got their first test last week in a close 17-14 road win at Mexia. It will be another one as the Zebra defense allows 12.3 points so far.

It will take an all-around performance on offense and defense by the Tigers in order to make an early statement at home against the defending state champions.

Another key is putting pressure on Jenstch as he leads an offense averaging 48.3 points per game.

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