Roxborough aims to end Thanksgiving Day drought in rivalry against Roman Catholic.
Roxborough, Roman Catholic to face off in 47th edition of Thanksgiving rivalry; Cahillites hope for 27th straight victory
The Roxborough-Roman Thanksgiving football game will renew its annual showdown on Thursday.
Roman leads the 46year series 35-9-2 and has defeated the Indians for 26 straight years. The 46-0 score last year was indicative of the imbalance between the teams that has been part of the trend since the teams were once competitive with each other back in the early ’90s.
Roman enters the annual duel with an 0-10 record, including a recent 38-0 drubbing by national powerhouse St. Joe’s Prep in the highly competitive 6A Catholic League semifinals. A victory on Thanksgiving would help salvage what has been an otherwise disappointing season.
Roxborough, although recently ousted from the Public League playoffs by Ben Franklin, posted a respectable 7-3 mark in 2018 and would like nothing more than to end its season on a high note and break the Turkey Day drought.
Each year, the Roxborough faithful feel that this “might be the year” to upset the apple cart, only to see lopsided numbers once again posted on the Westerman Field scoreboard as they head out for their holiday plans. Although the rivalry may have lost its competitive edge, the players, especially the seniors, still look forward to this rite of passage contest.
Despite the fact that the game has taken on a David/ Goliath quality, the Roxborough players have developed a “nothing to lose and everything to gain” mentality.
The mystique of finally slaying the Roman dragon is why senior multipurpose player Corey Dukes playfully hints, “This game is one the fans don’t wanna miss.”
Senior receiver Lamar Wilkes adds, as long as he’s been at Roxborough, “I’ve wanted to beat Roman. I’ve never been more confident in a team than I am now.”
For Roman players, it generally comes down to pride and upholding the tradition of one upmanship that has been passed down to them. It is also an acknowledgement that their time at Roman is coming to an end.
According to Roman senior TJ Fitzpatrick, an IHM grad, the game “means so much to the seniors because of the deep tradition for all Roman players both past and present.”
He added the players bond together as they honor “the seniors for their dedication to the purple and gold through their time at Roman.”
The underclassmen also look forward to the Thanksgiving clash because it is usually the last game they will play with their senior teammates.
“This is their last game, and I want to help them go out with a bang,” junior running back/linebacker Brian Burton said.
Versatile Roxborough senior Corey Dukes is a valuable two-way threat.
Wissahickon Braves product Nasair McLeod can break off a long run for Roman Catholic.
Junior Billy Martelon anchors the right side of the Roman Catholic line.
Roxborough’s Nair Polk hauls in a pass in the flat.
Roxborough senior Lamar Wilkes is a sure-handed receiver.
Roxborough’s Tyson Harrington is a capable receiver.
Roman Catholic’s Malachi Harris is elusive to cover.