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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas High wide receiver Irjah Price can't quite get his hands on the catch as Texas High's Darrell Webster dives to break up the play in Friday night's crosstown rivalry game. The Hogs beat the Tigers, 7-0. Photo by Evan Lewis / Texarkana Gazette.

TEXARKANA — Rivalries are a natural part of sports.

The Yankees and the Red Sox. The Cowboys and the Eagles. The Lakers and the Celtics. These and many other rivalries span the history of the programs and, likewise, the sports themselves.

High school football always has its fair share of rivalry games, also. Games that players and fans get extra worked up about.

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In Northeast Texas, there is New Boston and DeKalb — touted as the oldest rivalry game in the state of Texas — and in Southwest Arkansas, Dierks and Mineral Springs play annually for the Howard County Cup.

With Texarkana being a border city, the natural rivalry has been Arkansas High versus Texas High. The series dates back to 1909 and has had 104 meetings, gaining state, regional and often national attention when the Tigers and Razorbacks square off against one another.

COVID-19 has dealt several blows to high school athletics over the past few months, and with the UIL's announcement last week that Class 6A and 5A schools would not begin football season until late September rather than last August, the coronavirus has halted the AHS-THS series for this season.

Arkansas High is scheduled to start its season the last week of August and will be into 5A-South Conference play by the time Texas High would be able to compete in its first game.

With the Battle of the Axe not being on the schedule for 2020, the streak of consecutive games ends at 65 in a row. The last time the schools did not play was 1954. The game was also not played in 1952, and prior to that year the last time the teams did not meet on the gridiron was 1921.

THS leads the series against the Hogs, 65-32-7, and won the 2019 meeting 28-7 at Razorback Stadium. AHS last won the game, 7-0, in 2017.

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