When the Central League was formed in 1967, Haverford High and Upper Darby shared the first football championship.

Forty-eight years later, the host Fords (9-2 overall, 7-0 Central) and Royals (10-2, 7-0) will battle for an outright league title Thanksgiving Day at 10:45 a.m. at A.G. Cornog Field.

Upper Darby arrives especially hungry, as its last crown - outright or shared - was that one in 1967. Haverford, which has won the last five meetings in the series, is trying to gain the first-place hardware for the first time since 1995. Joe Gallagher's squad earned an outright title that year, its first since 1970.

The Fords are seeking their fifth overall title. In addition to 1967 and 1970, they also won and shared top honors in 1968 and 1980, respectively.

"I just feel lucky to be part of this neighborhood rivalry," Gallagher said. "And, as I've said before, winning the league is more important to us than the playoffs."

Haverford, which made its third District 1 Class AAAA playoff appearance in the last four seasons, is sparked on offense by senior quarterback Jack Donaghy. The third-year starter has completed 139 of 231 passes for 2,045 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Donaghy's primary targets are Bobby McClure (35 catches for 650 yards, nine scores), Chris Trainor (31 for 573, seven), and Matt Corbett (32 for 524, five.)

For Upper Darby, senior tailback Isaiah Bruce has carried 290 times for 2,189 yards (an average of 7.5 yards per carry) and 33 touchdowns.

"He's one of the best running backs I've coached in my career," said Gallagher, who is in his 24th year. "We need to play great team defense."

The Royals, guided by Rich Gentile, won their first district playoff game in program history this season. After beating Council Rock North in the first round, they fell to Upper Dublin, 45-14, in a quarterfinal Friday night.

Donaghy fired three touchdown passes as visiting Haverford topped Upper Darby, 28-12, in last year's meeting at Memorial Stadium.

The Fords hold a 44-43-6 lead in a rivalry that dates to 1921.

Pick: Upper Darby, 28-23.

Here is a look at some of the other Turkey Day games.

Archbishop Ryan at George Washington, 10. Washington looks for its first win against Ryan since 2010. The Raiders have a 28-9-1 advantage. Pick: Ryan, 34-12.

Father Judge at Lincoln, 10. Can Lincoln find a way to beat its Rowland Avenue neighbor for the first time since 1989? Judge leads, 36-3-1. Pick: Judge: 38-6.

Abington at Cheltenham, 10. The Ghosts and Panthers both hope to end disappointing seasons on a high note. Overall, Abington has a 57-30-6 advantage. Pick: Abington, 22-13.

Quakertown at Pennridge, 10:15. QB Devon Balmer and the Rams, who have a 53-27-5 advantage, look to avenge last year's 8-7 loss at Alumni Field. Pick: Pennridge, 21-20.

Central at Northeast, 10:30. The granddaddy of all Thanksgiving Day games dates to 1892, when Benjamin Harrison was president. Northeast has a 57-52-10 edge. Pick: Northeast, 30-13.

Prep Charter at Frankford, 10:30. In last year's first holiday meeting, Quadir Strothers and Prep Charter downed the Pioneers, 24-14, at Large and Dyre. Pick: Frankford, 20-12.

Interboro at Ridley, 10:30. The Green Raiders have a solid one-two punch in QB Cade Stratton and tailback Malik Young. Ridley leads, 34-12-0. Pick: Ridley, 14-13.

Morrisville at Bristol, 10:30. The Bicentennial Athletic League foes began the series in 1928. Bristol is ahead by 44-36-4. Pick: Bristol, 33-6.

@ozoneinq