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Georgiana, Greenville to square off Thursday

Georgiana will face arguably the largest obstacle on the path to a perfect season in the Greenville Tigers, the second in-county opponent the Panthers have faced in as many weeks.

The 2015 season has already been an historical one for Georgiana, considering victories in previous two weeks over Brantley and McKenzie.

However, a win against the Tigers would be the first in 11 meetings.  The Tigers and Panthers have only squared off three times this century (2006, 2007 and 2014), and the last Panthers win occurred on Nov. 2, 1979.

Georgiana head football coach Ezell Powell said that the goal week-in and week-out is to win, no matter how large or formidable the foe.

“Our goal is to stay undefeated; that’s our goal,” Powell said.

“We approach every ball game to win it.  If we can still a ball game against Greenville, it’ll be huge.  I don’t know if McKenzie or we have ever beaten the other two schools in the same year.  Being the champs of Butler County sounds pretty good to me, too.”

Josh McLendon, head football coach of the Greenville Tigers, is no stranger to the Panthers team.  Having defeated the Panthers as head coach of the McKenzie Tigers the previous two years, few coaches are as aware of Georgiana’s talent.

McLendon said that the discrepancy in roster size between the Tigers and the Panthers might be one of precious few advantages the Tigers hold over a talented Georgiana team.

“All you can do is put 11 on the field, and the 11 that they put out there is as good as anybody around,” McLendon said.

“They match up very well with us, and they had a lot of success against us in the 7-on-7 this summer.  It’s going to be tough.  I don’t know if there are any positives in what we have that they don’t have.  They’re just as athletic as we are, and they’re just as fast as we are.  So it should be a pretty good game, in my opinion.”

The Tigers’ defense, which has allowed just over 12 points per game this season, will face the most versatile Panthers’ offense in recent memory.  For McLendon, the biggest challenge facing his formidable defense is in deciding which of the myriad threats to prioritize.

“They’ve had good success from Jacquez Payton—he’s a phenomenal athlete,” McLendon said.

“Cameron Longmire has done a great job of running the ball for them.  Richard Boggan does a good job on defense.  No. 6, Demarcus Rich, does a very good job for them, and No. 9, Dequan Crenshaw.  Geron Feagin is another name that comes to mind.

“I can go through a list of players.  They’ve got guys pretty much across the board that stand out in my mind. They’re very talented and just athletic.  You see that on the basketball court and on the football field. It’s definitely going to be a good contest, for sure.”

The Tigers will meet the Panthers at Harmon Field in Georgiana Thursday.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.