Aquinas Thanksgiving Football Revival

Trojans Renew Thanksgiving Football Tradition with Immaculata in 2023

NORTH EDISON, NJ – With the revamped state playoffs leading to regional and state championships in recent years, many Thanksgiving Football Games have gone to the wayside here in New Jersey.  Especially in the counties that cover the Big Central Conference.  Last year, there were only three Turkey Day games in the Big Central Conference.  St. Thomas Aquinas is looking to renew the tradition with a Thanksgiving Football Revival in 2023.

The Trojans have scheduled a game against Immaculata of Somerville on Thanksgiving Eve (November 22nd).  The holiday game completes a regular season schedule that is loaded.  Aquinas opens the season on Saturday with its first-ever appearance in the WJFL’s Battle at the Beach in Ocean City against Paul VI.  The Trojans also have the usual BCC United Gold opponents in Scotch Plains-Fanwood, Summit, Cranford, and Rahway.

In addition, St. Thomas Aquinas travels to Hillside to play the Comets at Woodman Field in Conant Street Park on Saturday afternoon, September 30th.  The Trojans defeated the Comets in North Edison last season (17-7), and both teams will be looking forward to the rematch.  Aquinas also has crossover games against Edison, New Providence, and North Plainfield.

This first installment of what hopefully will be a continuing tradition between St. Thomas Aquinas and Immaculata will take place at the new Torpey Complex in Bridgewater.  Immaculata, a former member of the Mid-State 38, now competes in the Super Football Conference.  Last year, the Spartans finished 4-6 overall, but 3-0 in the SFC National White Division.  

Immaculata qualified for the NJSIAA Non-Public Group B state playoffs and lost to eventual champion, DePaul Catholic of Wayne (42-13) in the opening round.  Aquinas also qualified in Non-Public Group B and lost to Holy Spirit of Absecon in the first round (50-21).  Both teams will be looking to return to the playoffs and go further in 2023.

Two seasons ago, Immaculata played in the SFC’s Independence Red division and finished 7-3 overall including a second-place finish behind Lincoln of Jersey City at 5-1.  The Spartans last played on Thanksgiving against Bernards in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.  Immaculata lost the game in Bernardsville (49-6).

Meanwhile, the Trojans have not played around the Thanksgiving Holiday since losing to St. Joseph’s (21-14) on November 25, 2014, which was actually the Tuesday before Turkey Day.  Prior to that, St. Thomas Aquinas took on Monroe on Thanksgiving Eve in 2010 (lost 34-24) and 2011 (won 33-0).  

Over the past two seasons, Aquinas has compiled a record of 18-3 overall and qualified for a playoff spot in Non-Public B.  Two seasons ago, the Trojans finished 9-1 overall including a 4-0 mark in the BCC’s Division 2B.  Last season, STA moved up and still managed to end up 9-2 overall and go undefeated in the BCC’s United Gold.