Thanksgiving Day usually involves traveling, spending time with friends and family, and consuming food. On this Thanksgiving, the Central Philadelphia High School Lancers traveled to Northeast Philadelphia High School, encountering the Northeast Vikings for the 119th edition for the battle of the Wooden Horse Trophy at Charles Martin Memorial Stadium.
Central, designated as the home team wearing red and gold, had been accompanied by Central faithful taking approximately 75 percent of the stadium’s visiting bleachers. The Lancers entered the 2014 clash 1-10 on the season and looked to retain the horse trophy after a 6-3 overtime victory vs. the Vikings in 2013. Northeast, designated as the road team despite playing at its home stadium, sported white uniforms and aspired to regain the horse trophy for the ninth time in the previous 10 series games.
The 2013 battle didn’t involve points until a Northeast field goal in overtime followed by a Central touch down. This time, Northeast rushed into the end zone on a 30 plus-yard pass after an opening onside kick by the Lancers on the opening first quarter drive, and the Vikings shut down the visiting Lancers, 41-0, in one hour and 53 minutes from kickoff to the final whistle, and improve their series lead to 57-52-10. Although the Vikings piled 35 first half points, both squads forced turnovers throughout the contest. Northeast (6-6 in 2014) recovered two Central (1-11) fumbles and picked off two passes, while the Lancers picked off one Northeast pass and recovered one forced fumble. The Lancers also received the ball with nearly four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter at the Vikings’ 11-yard line on a botched Northeast punt, but the Lancers could not rush past the Northeast two-yard line.
While the Lancers and Vikings entertained with temperatures in the mid 30s, a few spectators could be seen smoking cigarettes in the home bleacher section at the smoking-permitted stadium. During three separate occasions, a group of Northeast spectators shouted, “F*** YOU CENTRAL!”
Northeast’s 41 points moves the Vikings ahead of the Lancers in total points scored in the series, 1,522-1,516. In the past 10 meetings (2005-2014),Vikings have shutout the Lancers three times (2008, 2010 and 2014) and outscored Central, 262-105. The 41 points from the Vikings is their second largest output in the past 10 meetings (Northeast won 44-28 in 2007) and marks their largest victory margin in the series in the last 10 years.