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HOUSTON – Lone Star Sports & Entertainment announces H-E-B’s three-year extension of the presenting sponsorship for the Battle of Piney Woods presented by H-E-B through the 2023 game.  The new agreement extends H-E-B’s role as presenting sponsor a full decade since the partnership started in 2015 and continues H-E-B’s support of LSSE in bringing major college football events to Houston.  

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment also announced a partnership with Bally Sports Southwest to broadcast the 2021 edition of the game.  This year’s game will air across Bally Sports Southwest’s four state footprint including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana, airing on Bally Sports Southwest Plus with a 4:00 p.m. CT kickoff this Saturday, October 2, from NRG Stadium in Houston.

“H-E-B is excited to continue the partnership and see the Battle of the Piney Woods gain exposure to a larger audience via this new broadcast partnership with Bally Sports Southwest.” H-E-B Houston Director of Marketing, Joe Casiano said.  “We can’t wait to see the fans in the stands to cheer on the Bearkats and the Lumberjacks as they take the field this Saturday afternoon.”  

The Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B is the third oldest college football rivalry in Texas dating back to 1923 and featuring the Sam Houston Bearkats and the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks. This year’s event will be the 95th iteration of the game and the 11th year of the game hosted as a neutral site event at NRG Stadium. This year’s game is alsoas well as the first matchup between the two rivals as members of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). 

In 2019, the Sam Houston Bearkats defeated the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks 31-20. Sam Houston holds a 57-35-2 edge in the series following they’re victory in 2019.

Tickets for Saturday’s game are still available by calling 832-667-2390 or visiting  

Carly Klanac

Omar Majzoub

Jackson Riebel


Lone Star Sports & Entertainment
Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2019 and 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the “Battle of the Piney Woods” rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney.

About H-E-B
H-E-B, with sales of more than $26 billion, operates more than 400 stores in Texas and Mexico. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience at everyday low prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 110,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit



Coming to an NFL Stadium Near You...

30 LSSE Event Alumni Drafted in 2021

Every time we host an event at NRG Stadium, we know we’re seeing the future of football. It’s beyond a privilege to be able to give these future stars a chance to play on a professional stage at NRG Stadium during their collegiate careers.

This year, 30 of our LSSE event alumni were drafted and many more signed as free agents to pursue their dreams in the NFL. Read on to see the full list of 2021 LSSE alumni draftees!


BYU, Texas Kickoff 2017

Brady Christensen – Carolina Panthers – Round 3, Pick 6

Khyiris Tonga – Chicago Bears – Round 7, Pick 23

Chris Wilcox – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Round 7, Pick 24


LSU, Texas Kickoff 2017

Tyler Shelvin – Cincinnati Bengals – Round 4, Pick 17

Racey McMath – Tennessee Titans – Round 6, Pick 20

JaCoby Stevens – Philadelphia Eagles – Round 6, Pick 40

Kary Vincent Jr. – Denver Broncos – Round 7, Pick 9


Texas, Texas Bowl 2017

Sam Cosmi – Washington Football Team – Round 2, Pick 19

Ta’Quon Graham – Atlanta Falcons – Round 5, Pick 4

Sam Ehlinger – Indianapolis Colts – Round 6, Pick 34


Missouri, Texas Bowl 2017

Tyree Gillespie – Las Vegas Raiders – Round 4, Pick 38

Larry Borom – Chicago Bears – Round 5, Pick 7

Joshuah Bledsoe – New England Patriots – Round 6, Pick 4

Larry Rountree III – Los Angeles Chargers – Round 6, Pick 14


Texas Tech, Texas Kickoff 2018

Zech McPhearson – Philadelphia Eagles – Round 4, Pick 18

Jack Anderson – Buffalo Bills – Round 7, Pick 8


Ole Miss, Texas Kickoff 2018

Elijah Moore – New York Jets – Round 2, Pick 2

Royce Newman – Greenbay Packers – Round 4, Pick 37


Vanderbilt, Texas Bowl 2018

Dayo Odeyingbo – Indianapolis Colts – Round 2, Pick 22


Houston, Texas Kickoff 2019      

Payton Turner – New Orleans Saints – Round 1, Pick 28

Marquez Stevenson – Buffalo Bills – Round 6, Pick 19

Grant Stuard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Round 7, Pick 32


Oklahoma State, Texas Bowl 2019

Teven Jenkins – Chicago Bears – Round 2, Pick 7

Chuba Hubbard – Carolina Panthers – Round 4, Pick 21

Tylan Wallace – Baltimore Ravens – Round 4, Pick 26

Rodarius Williams – New York Giants – Round 6, Pick 17


Texas A&M, Texas Bowl 2019

Kellen Mond – Minnesota Vikings – Round 3, Pick 2

Bobby Brown III – Los Angeles Rams – Round 4, Pick 12

Dan Moore Jr. – Pittsburgh Steelers – Round 4, Pick 23

Buddy Johnson – Pittsburgh Steelers – Round 4, Pick 35

Don't miss your chance to see the future of football at NRG Stadium! Check out all of our upcoming events at




HOUSTONThe Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B college football event between Stephen F. Austin State University and Sam Houston State University will not be played at NRG Stadium in 2020, Lone Star Sports & Entertainment (LSSE) and the schools announced today. The matchup between the two schools dates back to 1923, making it the fourth-oldest college football rivalry in the state of Texas.


All parties look forward to this great rivalry returning to NRG Stadium in 2021.


LSU Game Cancelled

LSU Game Cancelled

Rice University Football 7/30/2020 3:50:00 PM By: Chuck Pool (

The first meeting between Rice and LSU in football in Houston since 1983 has been cancelled due to a decision by the Southeastern Conference to reduce schedules to 10 conference games for 2020 season. The Owls and Tigers had been set to meet at 2:30 on September 19 at NRG Stadium.

"I'm disappointed we will not be able to play LSU this season, but given the current situation, it was not unexpected," Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard said. "I know our fans have anticipated hosting LSU for the first time in nearly 40 years since we announced it in 2016 and that excitement only grew after LSU won the national title last year. We will work with LSU to see if there is an opportunity in a future season to reschedule the game."

Fans who purchased advance tickets through Ticketmaster, the Rice Ticket office or the NRG box office will be contacted in the coming week regarding refund procedures. Fans who purchased through the LSU ticket office should contact them for information on refunds.  

The Owls and Tigers were looking to resume their series in Houston that began in 1915 when Rice defeated LSU 6-0 at West End Park in Houston.

Rice is currently scheduled to open the 2020 season on September 3 at the University of Houston and open the home schedule the following week when they welcome Army to Rice Stadium.


2020 Texas Kickoff Featuring Baylor and Ole Miss Moves to Sunday, September 6

Bears’ Dave Aranda Makes Head Coaching Debut; Lane Kiffin’s First Game with Rebels

The 2020 Texas Kickoff featuring Baylor vs. Ole Miss is scheduled to kick off Sunday, Sept. 6, moving from the previously scheduled date of September 5. The game, played at NRG Stadium in Houston, is slated to be part of ESPN’s Labor Day weekend opening schedule, airing on an ESPN network.

The fifth installment of the annual Sunday holiday weekend game will mark Dave Aranda’s head coaching debut at Baylor and Lane Kiffin’s first game with Ole Miss as head coach. Baylor is currently ranked number 25 in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 Rankings.

“ESPN’s Sunday game during kickoff weekend has quickly developed into a strong franchise,” said Pete Derzis, ESPN senior vice president of programming and ESPN Events. “We look forward to continuing that success as we feature two head coaches in their inaugural games with two great programs. We want to thank the schools and our Texas Kickoff team for recognizing this unique opportunity.”

Fans interested in tickets for the event can visit and sign up for the Priority Wait List to receive the most up to date information for when single game tickets and suites will be released.  Tickets are also available through Baylor Athletics and Ole Miss Athletics via their ticket offices.

Kickoff time and network designation for the matchup will be available at a later date. ESPN’s early-season college football schedule will be announced in the coming weeks as conferences and television networks continue to prepare for the college football season.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a portfolio of 35 collegiate sporting events nationwide. The roster includes four early-season college football games, 17 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events, a college softball event and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 400 hours of live programming, reaches nearly 64 million viewers and attracts over 800,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in more than 10 markets across the country, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

For more information, visit the official websiteFacebookTwitter or YouTube pages.


Media contacts


ESPN Events: Anna Negron at or 860-256-1757
Texas Kickoff: Allie LeClair at or 832-919-0655