The I-95 Classic: Jesuit Turkey Bowl Football Games

Nov. 24, 2015 – Jesuit schools are steeped in tradition, dating back to the lessons St. Ignatius Loyola outlined for the early Jesuits in the 1530s.

At 10 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning, Jesuit high school alumni all over the East Coast will be taking part in one particular tradition that’s earned a place on the year’s calendar for nearly a century: donning school colors and waiting for the kickoff at three major Turkey Bowl games taking place simultaneously!

At stake isn’t just school pride, but also dinnertime conversation and, for players, even the chance for a spot on the post-meal evening TV news. 

In a Jesuit vs. Jesuit battle, the Xavier High School Knights (10-1) will face Fordham Prep (7-3) on Thanksgiving morning. The Knights come off a heroic victory 28-25 victory against Christ the King over the weekend that lifted them to CHSFL Class AA champions. With 12 days of rest since their last game, Fordham's Rams want nothing more than to upset the champion Knights in this bout for turkey day bragging rights. Xavier first faced Fordham Prep on Thanksgiving Day in 1905, but the Turkey Bowl classic didn’t become a holiday fixture until 1926. Since then, hundreds of alumni from both schools have gathered each year at alternating home fields for the annual game, which will begin at 10 a.m. Thurs., and will be televised live on MSG Varsity.


Just an hour up the interstate, at that very moment, the Fairfield Prep Jesuits (5-4) will take to the field against rivals, the West Haven Blue Devils (6-3). The annual contest marks the end of the regular season in the highly competitive SCC (Southern Connecticut Conference). Fans will cheer at home again at Fairfield University’s new Rafferty Stadium following two years away due to construction. The game will be livestreamed by the school’s media club

Two-hundred-and-fifty miles downfield, in Maryland, Loyola Blakefield (5-5) will face Calvert Hall in a Turkey Bowl match that goes back 95 years. The 10 a.m. game will take place at M&T Bank Stadium – home of the Baltimore Ravens - and will be aired on the local ABC affiliate WMAR-TV.

And in perhaps the most history making match this year, the BC High Eagles will face rival Catholic Memorial on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at Boston’s historic Fenway Park. Crowds at the home of the Red Sox will be treated to a double header that day, marking the first time since 1935 that high school football games will be played at Fenway. BC holds a 36-16-1 series lead over Catholic Memorial – a Thanksgiving Day rivalry that began in 1962. The game will be live tweeted by BC @BCHigh.

Xavier President Jack Raslowsky commented, “I can think of no better way than the Turkey Bowl to begin our Thanksgiving celebrations. Records are thrown out the window, the game is always competitive and the crowd is always a delight. Yet the Turkey Bowl is more than a good game for players and fans. It is a reminder that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. A reminder that athletics can call forth the best in us. A reminder, for us, that Fordham Prep may be our rival on Thanksgiving morning but they are always our brother Jesuit school. A reminder of the many gifts of Jesuit education, gifts shared at our schools and, thankfully, in Jesuit schools around the globe."

More on the Jesuits’ Turkey Bowl games can be found in the Wall Street Journal or on BC High's school website.

Recent News

May 21, 2020 - Nativity Preparatory School in Boston has announced that Mr. Gadisa Goso has been named the next principal effective for the 2020-2021 academic year. Mr. Goso is member of Nativity Prep's class of 1997 and previously taught at Nativity.

May 19, 2020 — A new report released today from Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and the Jesuit Conference brings to life the real and often heart breaking consequences of US asylum policies.

May 18, 2020 — May marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of Laudato Si’. Through this landmark encyclical, Pope Francis called the Church and all people to transform our relationship with creation.

Dr. Joseph Sclafani, a member of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps in New York, is part of a team tasked with transcribing the diaries of Dorothy Day.

May 13, 2020 - Fr. Daniel Lahart, SJ, president of Regis High School recently asked one of the school’s alumni, Dr. Anthony Fauci, class of ’58, to record a video for the Jesuit graduates of 2020.

May 12, 2020 - Susan Baber has been named the Associate Provincial Assistant for Secondary Education for the new USA East Jesuit Province. The new province will come into being on July 31, Susan will assume this new role in August.

Fr. Dennis E. McNally, SJ, beloved painter and professor of fine arts at Saint Joseph’s University, dies at 76.

view all news

Search news

Eastern Point Retreat House
Eastern Point Retreat House, a grand house located on the Atlantic shore in Gloucester, Mass., has been welcoming retreatants since 1958.