Last week we posted our staff’s most memorable Thanksgiving football game experiences.
We then asked coaches, administrators, players, fans and all of our readers to submit their own memorable Thanksgiving football stories.
If you want read the GameTimeCT’s staff picks, click here.
Here is your list thus far. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Morgan’s 12th man causes controversy against Hand (1975)
Back before Hand played Guilford and Morgan played Old Saybrook on Thanksgiving, Hand and Morgan were Thanksgiving rivals. And in the 1970s, it was a very competitive series.
In 1974 both teams were undefeated heading into the game that would determine the Shoreline League champion. Morgan beat Hand 42-14 to finish the season 10-0.
Then in 1975 controversy happened.
Morgan won the game 28-6 to once again finish the season undefeated and won the Shoreline League championship.
But when the film was reviewed after the fact, the Hand coaching staff noticed Morgan’s Mike Spotts running on to the field to tackle Hand’s John Snyder, who was on his way to scoring a sure touchdown on the opening kickoff. (See the above video around the 8-second mark).
Two weeks later a vote by the Shoreline League was held with the principals voting 6-2 to strip Morgan of the Shoreline League title. Morgan was able to keep the win.
Hand coach Larry Ciotti told the Associated Press: “We don’t want the win, but we do not want a team representing our league winning the way they did. We’re going to fight this right to the end.”
Ciotti also demanded that the game should be declared a “no contest.”
Morgan coach Bob Brigockas told the AP he didn’t learn of it till later in the game.
“At this point I don’t see how you can change anything,” he told the AP. “If they (Hand) want eight points they can have eight points.
— Submission by The Morgan School
Here’s what Southington’s 21-20 2OT victory over Cheshire in the Apple Valley Classic looked like.
Came down to 1 play and 1 1/2 yard.
— Sean Patrick Bowley (@SPBowley) November 28, 2019
The game was between two top 10 teams in the GameTimeCT poll with Southington coming in at No. 7 and Cheshire at No. 9.
Both teams had one loss and both had already clinched spots in the Class LL playoffs.
The game was tied at 7-7 after regulation and went to overtime for the first time in the history of the rivalry.
Both teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime. Southington scored first in the second overtime with Brady Lafferty hitting Shane LaPorte for a 4-yard touchdown.
Cheshire then scored when Jason Shumilla connected with Nick DiDomizio for a score.
Cheshire coach Don Drust decided to go for the win and sent out his offense for the two-point conversion.
Drust sent Shumilla up the middle for a quarterback sneak and Southington’s defense held strong, keeping him out of the end zone and winning the game.
“I’m confident in our guys, in our ability to get 1 1/2 yards,” said Drust after the game. “I wouldn’t change that decision.”
Pride in Bridgeport
The rivalry game between Harding and Bridgeport Central goes back almost 100 years, with Harding leading the series 56-38-4.
A submission we received said that the best part about the games was the parades that were held before or after the games.
Late game catch propels Stamford Catholic to FCIAC title (1984)
Stamford Catholic’s Jay Baines was one of the best running backs in the FCIAC in 1984.
Though one play into the game he fumbled. Wilton found the end zone three plays later.
Baines would not let the fumble define his game and with 2:13 left, with his team trailing, he took a pass from Kyle Pond, broke away from a couple of defenders and took off for the end zone to score the game-winning 61-yard touchdown.
Stamford Catholic would hold on to beat Wilton 20-18 and capture the second and final FCIAC title the school would win in football. The other one came in 1966.
After the games Baines told the Stamford Advocate “Oh man, I’m glad we won. The last touchdown felt good. It felt REAL good. Before that, I thought we’d lose because of one stupid play. It was a reverse option where I could’ve pitched out to the quarterback. But I kept it too long and I wasn’t looking to see if he was behind me. It was just a stupid play. I couldn’t have gained any more yards so I should’ve just gone down. I really thought we’d lose.
— Submission by Nick Verbitsky, who was a member of the Stamford Catholic team
Ledyard came into the game with an 8-1 record and the chance to clinch a home playoff game.
Despite that Fitch took a 12-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Ledyard finally got on the board with 11 minutes left, but still trailed by five points.
With 3:16 left in the game Ledyard got the ball back and a chance to take the lead for good.
Ledyard quarterback John Rainey hit running back Alex Manwaring with 4.6 seconds left to cap off a drive that went 84 yards in 3:11, winning the game and clinching the home playoff game for the Colonels.
Ledyard would beat Waterford and Wolcott, both at home, in the Class M playoffs before losing to Ansonia in the finals.
The game is considered to be a top five game in Ledyard history and what the Colonels were able to do in that final 3:11 will be forever known as “The Drive” in Eastern Connecticut.
— Submission by Ledyard High School
Rockville snaps losing streak vs. South Windsor (2007)
At the end of its run in the CCC, Rockville was ready to move on.
Rockville headed into its Thanksgiving rivalry game against South Windsor on a six-game losing streak.
The Rams were one of the smallest schools in the CCC and classified as a Class M school by the CIAC and South Windsor was a Class LL school.
Despite the difference in size the teams played on Thanksgiving.
The Rams trailed 13-12 at halftime, then proceeded to score 24 straight points in the second half to beat South Windsor 36-13.
It was the last time Rockville beat South Windsor, losing the next eight years before Rockville left the CCC and joined the NCCC in 2017.
— Submission by former Rockville coach Jaron Cohen
(Watch the full game from The Day of New London)
Waterford wide receiver Sam Menders caught the game-tying catch in overtime and kicked the extra point to give Waterford a 35-34 win over East Lyme in overtime.
The win gave Waterford its 9th win of the season and a home game in the Class M playoffs. It was the culmination of the Lancers complete turnaround as a program after being 0-10 in 2017 and then 3-7 in 2018.
The Lancers trailed by eight in the fourth quarter and rallied back to force overtime, on a Menders touchdown catch.
After East Lyme scored in overtime, Waterford’s Matt Sanford blocked the ensuing extra point by East Lyme.
— Submission Waterford High
Heading into the 1978 high school football season the National Federation made a change to a rule that rarely used.
A team could no longer advance a blocked extra point. But someone forgot to tell the scoreboard operator at the Green Bowl.
Notre Dame was leading Hamden 21-20 when the teams went to the locker room for halftime.
When Notre Dame came out of the locker room the score had changed to 20-19 with Hamden leading.
Earlier in the game Notre Dame scored to make it 13-0. The Green Knights lined up for the extra point and Hamden’s Ray Greenlee blocked it, but Notre Dame’s Jack Durso picked it up and ran it in for an apparent two points.
The referees realized they misinterpreted the new rule and took the points off the board.
Despite Hamden’s new halftime lead, Notre Dame-West Haven still led with 45 seconds left.
Hamden blocked a Notre Dame-West Haven punt and ran it in for a touchdown, winning the game 26-25.
— Submission Bob Cuozzo