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Battle of Butler County big, but next week is bigger This Thursday#039;s #8220Battle of Butler County#8221; between the Greenville Tigers and the Georgiana Panthers has been talked about for weeks and

Greenville, Georgiana and McKenzie will all get the 2006 season rolling this weekend, while the Fort Dale Eagles got things rolling last week in a thrilling 7-6 win over the No. 7 Edgewood Wildcats.

McKenzie will travel to J.U. Blacksher Friday night and the Eagles return home to host Hooper Academy Colts.

Here are this week's predictions:

No. 9 Fort Dale vs. Hooper

The Eagles upset the No. 7 Edgewood Wildcats last week, 7-6, at Edgewood and return home this weekend to host the Hooper Colts, which lost to Kingwood last weekend.

The Eagles are flying high after last week's Top 10 win but a string of injuries still leaves several question marks in the Fort Dale lineup.

Blake Mullins and Mika Jones emerged as a duel threat for the Eagles on offense and defense and if Fort Dale can find a way to break open the big play, this one could get out of hand…

Fort Dale 30, Hooper 13.

McKenzie @ J.U. Blacksher

The Tigers are coming off one of the longest winless streaks in school history and new head coach Miles Brown has returned to his alma mater to turn things around.

The J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs are coming off a 5-6 season and if new McKenzie quarterback Sattrick Rudolph can keep the Bulldog defense on the field, the Tigers could start turning the corner.

Rudolph and running backs Ball and Mobley must put some points on the board if the Tigers, who scored only 27 points last season, expect to win…

J.U. Blacksher 20, McKenize 17.

Greenville vs. Georgiana

The Tigers and the Panthers haven't squared off in a regular season game in more than 20 years and Thursday night's match up at Tiger Stadium should be one that will be remembered around here for years to come.

The Tigers got the best of the Panthers when the two held the &#8220Battle of Butler County” in a jamboree last year, and the Panthers are looking for revenge.

The Tigers will look to free up Lynn Lewis while the Panthers will be looking for ways to get Andre Paige, Reco Johnson and Cornelius McMeans into the end zone.

This game will be talked about for next 365 days, but next week's games are even bigger in the long term because they are region games.

Greenville has the numbers to wear down Georgiana by the fourth quarter, but numbers don't always win games…

Georgiana 24, Greenville 22.

Last week: 1-0

Overall: 1-0

Austin Phillips is The Greenville Advocate sports editor.

You can contact him by e-mailing austin.phillips@greenvilleadvocate.com or by calling 382-3111 ext. 122.