Top 10 Thanksgiving Day Games

Marblehead vs. Swampscott

SInce 1909, Marblehead and Swampscott have played 107 Thanksgiving Day football games - making this rivalry one of the oldest in Massachusetts. While Marblehead holds a slight overall lead in the series, 51-49-7 (helped by winning four of the last six late-November contests), Swampscott leads in overall points scored.

     Two World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts, the 1918 flu pandemic, the 1929 Stock Market Crash, 9/11, and a host of other natural and man-made calamities have come and gone, defining a century, but the annual Thanksgiving Day game has been a constant, as perennial as the holiday it celebrates and the end of autumn it demarcates.

     On the fourth Thursday in November, the two tribes - Swampscott and Marblehead - don their colors and gather in the stands and along the sidelines - parents and familes, alumni and students, past and future players, and fans young and old - to cheer on the local boys and take in the game.

     If one looks back through the decades of the rivalry, one sees dynasties that have risen and fallen. For local high school football fans, the Houses of McGuinness, Bondelevitch, Kulevitch, Dembowski, and Rudloff are as storied as any found on "Game of Thrones". Over the past 11 decades lopsided victories, bitter upsets, and fiercely contested battles have been played out and decided on the frost-hardened gridiron on Thanksgiving morning - Here are 10 memorables ones:

1917 MHS 20-6

1917 MHS 20-6

Edward Pigeon's MHS team breaks a 7 years losing streak with this win over the SHS Sculpins

1953 MHS 6-0

1953 MHS 6-0

The 6-0 Marblehead win knocks Swampscott out of the NEC Championship

1955 SHS 19-18

1955 SHS 19-18

A late-game MHS come back is cut short by a Swampscott interception - "The Catch" - on the last play of the game

1961 MHS 35-14

1961 MHS 35-14

A 3-3-1 MHS underdog defeats undefeated Swampscott in the crushing upset

1966 MHS 22-21

1966 MHS 22-21

MHS comes back from a 21-6 deficit to win on an end of game 2-point conversion

1969 SHS 15-14

1969 SHS 15-14

An end of game field goal by Mike Lynch carries the game for Swampscott

1973 MHS 20-12

1973 MHS 20-12

Marblehead's win creates a two way tie with Swampscott for the NEC title. Marblehead would not win another NEC title for 35 years.

1986 MHS 6-0

1986 MHS 6-0

In a snow squall, Marblehead's Ray Forbes hauls in the game winning catch with just 15 seconds on the game clock

2006 MHS 6-0

2006 MHS 6-0

A rambling 60-yard fumble return for the only score of the game snaps a MHS five year losing streak

2009 MHS 32-27

2009 MHS 32-27

In an aerial battle led by Hayes Richardson at newly dedicated Piper Field, MHS puts up 270 passing yards and wins their first NEC title in 36 years. MHS has won he NEC 5 more times since 2009

Click on the poster image for more information about the rivalry, including scores, factoids, and information about the evolution of the game. 

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