Thanksgiving Day football lineup features 26 Pa. teams, including classic Central-Northeast matchup
Central vs. Northeast is the granddaddy of all Turkey Day contests, dating to 1892.
While 10 Southeastern Pa. football teams are preparing for weekend playoff games, 26 local squads will continue the tradition of playing on Thanksgiving.
And they'll likely do it in chilly conditions with the temperature expected to be about 25 degrees at 10 a.m.
Central vs. Northeast is the granddaddy of all Turkey Day contests, dating to 1892. The Vikings arrive as a heavy favorite, as they have defeated the Lancers twice this season by a combined score of 69-0.
Northeast won last year's meeting by a 28-0 decision and has a 60-52-2 edge in the series. Central last won in 2013, by 6-3 in overtime.
The Vikings' run-heavy attack is led by quarterback Charles Britt and running backs Marlon White, William Lawrence, and Shuayb "Shoes" Brinkley.
Staying in Northeast Philadelphia, Father Judge looks to end a disappointing season by defeating Rowland Avenue neighbor Abraham Lincoln for the 29th straight season.
Judge's Shane Dooley is the program's all-time leading passer, with 3,337 yards. He eclipsed the old mark of 3,047 yards set by Chris Fagan in 1987.
Dooley, with 1,727 passing yards in 10 games this year, needs to throw for 286 yards against Lincoln to break Fagan's single-season record of 2,012 yards that he set in 1987.
Archbishop Ryan meets George Washington at Mickey Young Memorial Stadium. The Raiders have a 31-9-1 series advantage.
Like Dooley, Ryan's Jahlil Sanders is in position to become his squad's single-season passing leader. He has thrown for 1,327 yards. Matt Romano passed for 1,514 yards in 2015.
Behind the strong pass-catch duo of Malik Johnson and Mohamed Diawara, Boys' Latin takes on Frankford at Large and Dyre Streets. Frankford won last year's inaugural clash, 41-28.
Johnson has thrown for 1,204 yards and 22 touchdowns and rushed 100 times for 591 yards and 11 scores. Diawara has 40 catches for 792 yards and 11 TDs.
Moving to Delaware County, Haverford High squares off against Central League rival Upper Darby at Memorial Field. The Fords downed the Royals, 14-7, last season.
Haverford's offense is fueled by quarterback Jake Ruane, running back Chasen Wint, and receivers Shane Blair, Trey Blair, and Kevin DePrince.
The Fords need to closely watch quarterback Kevin Kerwood, running back Kareem McAdams, and receiver Marson Weh.
In Bucks County, Bicentennial Athletic League foes Bristol and Morrisville renew a series that began in 1928. Bristol, a 30-6 winner over the Bulldogs last season, is ahead by 47-36-4.
Bristol's top offensive playmakers are running backs Michael Are, Lucas Bogarde, and Allen Reyes.
Boys' Latin (9-1) at Frankford (2-8), 9:45 a.m. The Warriors look to close with a win after losing to Imhotep Charter in the Public League Class 4A playoffs. Pick: Boys' Latin, 36-20.
Father Judge (2-8) at Lincoln (7-3), 10 a.m. The Crusaders lead the series, 39-3-1. The Railsplitters last won in 1989, prevailing by 7-0 in the snow. Pick: Judge: 42-12.
Archbishop Ryan (7-4) at George Washington (8-3), 10 a.m. The Raiders defense is led by lineman Chris Brown, linebacker Colin Boyd, and back Mekhi Long. Pick: Ryan, 38-13.
Central (2-10) at Northeast (7-4), 10:30 a.m. Northeast looks to rebound strong from a 49-14 loss to St. Joe's Prep in the District 12 Class 6A final. Pick: Northeast, 34-6.
Bristol (5-5) at Morrisville (3-6), 10:30 a.m. The Bulldogs defense needs to be at its best to knock off coach John Greiner and the Warriors. Pick: Bristol, 28-0.
Haverford High (8-3) at Upper Darby (7-4), 10:45 a.m. The Fords have won the last eight meetings and lead the all-time series, 47-43-6. Pick: Haverford, 26-14.