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 Review - - FRONT PAGE - By Rick Caw­ley

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.

PHO­TOS BY RICK CAW­LEY — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

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.

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