Thanksgiving Day 2020 simply won’t feel complete. For so many in Andover, and throughout Massachusetts, the holiday will be missing a special something, an element that defines the holiday as much or more than turkey and stuffing.

That special element is football.

This Thanksgiving will mark the first time since 1985 that Andover High will not play a football game either on Thanksgiving Day or the night before Thanksgiving (due to dangerous cold in 2018). That’s because the 2020 high school football season was postponed due to COVID-19.

From 1972-2014 — other than that 1985 cancellation — Andover High faced Central Catholic on Thanksgiving Day. Central owned a slim 21-20-1 advantage over the course of the 42-year rivalry.

In 2015, due in part to the realignment of Massachusetts football, Andover’s Turkey Bowl rivalry took on a new look, as North Andover became the Golden Warriors’ holiday foe.

In the first five years of the Andover/North Andover rivalry, the Golden Warriors own a 3-2 edge after last year’s 41-8 win.

Massachusetts football is hoping to play a season in the late winter/early spring. Hopefully that will lead to a return of Thanksgiving Day football in 2021.

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