For the seventh-straight year, the Berea Community football team will open the season with a rivalry showdown against Jackson County.

The Battle of Big Hill Bowl is set for today in McKee.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Pirates (1-9) and Generals (1-9) have played in each of the past seven years. Jackson County has dominated the series, winning the previous four meetings by a combined scored of 158-24.

Berea, however, comes into this match-up against Jackson County with some momentum.

The Pirates snapped a 43-game losing streak with a win in the season finale over Jellico (Tenn.) in November. It was the program's first victory since Oct. 10, 2014.

Berea lost just five players from that team and returns many of it key performers, including quarterback Jaylen Whitaker, quarterback/running back Cody Moore and running back Jaiden Cunningham.

"Our kids have had that (hanging over their heads) forever," Berea coach Aaron Stepp said of the four-plus year losing streak. "They ended the season 1-9, but we looked at like we ended the season 1-0. The last game we played, we won. That's a winning streak."

The Pirates finished last year on a high note, then picked up an impressive 18-0 win over Pineville in their only preseason scrimmage.

Jackson County, on the other hand, lost 12 seniors from a team that failed to make the Class 3A Playoffs. The Generals have lost nine-straight games. Their last victory was a 40-12 win over Berea on the road last season.

Jackson County returns starting quarterback Nick Baldwin. The junior completed 63-of-105 passes last season for 687 yards and one touchdown, with four interceptions. He also had one rushing touchdown.

The Generals also bring back two of their top running backs -- Dylan Martin (379 yards, two TDs) and Shawn Browning (220 yard, three TDs).

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