rbc-rfhRBC topped R-FH 40- 14 in their annual Thanksgiving matchup. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)


It’s an annual tradition that’s getting a little lopsided: Red Bank Catholic posts a “w” in its annual rivalry matchup with Rumson-Fair Haven.

In front of a typically huge crowd at R-FH’s Borden Field, the Caseys topped the Bulldogs 40-14, notching their eighth straight Thanksgiving game win.

“The Thanksgiving turkey might taste a little sour today, but that’s alright,” said Billy Crow, a former R-FH outside linebacker and a 1987 graduate.

rbc-rfh1It’s good. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

While losing is no fun tradition, coming to the games is, said Crow. He’s has been attending the games, which, up until a few years ago, were held on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, ever since he was a kid.

It’s a chance for him to get his football fix, but even more, to catch up with old friends.

“Seeing familiar faces, small town charm,” Crow said. “It’s a rite of passage.”

The game itself was hard-fought. A key turnover in the third quarter and a few lucky plays in the fourth shifted momentum for RBC, head coach Jim Portela said.

“It went well. We knew that was a good team,” he said. “We didn’t have any idea that it was going to be an easy game.”

How could it be? With a record of 8-2, Rumson-Fair Haven is among four Shore Conference teams — including Middletown South — that will play next week in the NJSIAA sectional championship tournament.

Going home with heads held high, RBC fans relished the victory while giving credit to their longtime rivals. It’s not so much about the final score, they said, but the experience that’s guaranteed each year.

“This is RBC tradition,” said Matt Bailey, a former running back who came to watch his brother, Kyle Vill, play.

Bailey was with his sister and another brother, Nolan Vill, who also played for the Caseys. He said he’ll keep coming to the games even though Kyle graduates this school year.

“We’ll have to,” he said. “Or maybe Nolan will go back to high school.”