Nov. 27, 1919:

One-hundred years ago, St. Thomas College (now University of Scranton) and the former Scranton Technical High School faced off for a big Thanksgiving day football game in Athletic Park.
The Scranton Times reported at the time that the game generated a lot of interest because of the “great rivalry” between the two schools.
“The game was the best attended school game that has been played in Scranton in many years,” the newspaper reported.
An estimated more than 6,000 people attended the afternoon game.
“Nearly everyone of the huge mass was rooting hard for one team or the other,” the Times wrote.
St. Thomas was unable to score during the first half of the game, and Tech scored all of its points during the second quarter.
The second half started with Tech leading 13-0, and the St. Thomas team went in “with fight in their eyes,” according to the report.

group of football player

Members of the Scranton Technical High School football team take a moment for a photo while practicing for their upcoming game against the Tomcats of St. Thomas College on Thanksgiving on Nov. 27, 1919. Times-Shamrock Archives

St. Thomas scored two touchdowns in the third quarter but was unable to score again.
The game ended 13-12 in favor of Tech. Although St. Thomas lost the game, the newspaper explained, “the Purple and White boys showed up as the superior to the Red and White in ground gaining.”
St. Thomas was able to gain yards by “passing to Fullback Eagen and hitting the center,” according to the article, and throughout the game, the Tomcats changed their tactic, trying “end runs rather than the play that was gaining for them.” This change caused the team to lose the chance at two touchdowns.

group of football players

Members of the “gridiron warriors” of St. Thomas College who played against the team from Scranton Technical High School on Thanksgiving day, Nov. 27, 1919. Times Shamrock Archives

The day after the game, St. Thomas College announced it would protest the final score. The protest was based on the rulings made by a referee and the head linesman, Professor Powell, who was a professor at Technical High School.
“The collegians assert that throughout the entire game Powell warned Technical men who were off-side, and penalized St. Thomas men,” the Times reported.
The same day as the St. Thomas game, Dumore High School played Central High School at Catholic Club Park. Central High beat Dunmore by a score of 48-0.
While University of Scranton no longer competes at the intercollegiate level, there is an intramural football team on campus.

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Members of the 1919 St. Thomas College Tomcats to play in the Thanksgiving Day game against Scranton Tech on Nov. 27, 1919. From left: Nick Helring, quarterback; Robert Walsh, center; Leo Rafferty, left guard; William Memolo, right guard; Paul Rafferty, left end and Captain Frank Toolan, right halfback. Times-Shamrock Archives


Here are the stories from the Scranton Times dealing with the St. Thomas / Tech and Central / Dunmore games –

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Tech High School vs St Thomas College Thanksgiving Day football game story – Nov. 28, 1919 – The Scranton Times

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Central High School vs Dunmore High School Thanksgiving football game story – Nov. 28, 1919 – The Scranton Times

Here are some additional images of the University of Scranton football team –