For many, Thanksgiving is a day of “thanks” and “blessings,” but not for the New Hope-Solebury High School football team…or at least not for the first half of the day. For the last five years, a “Battle of the Bridges” game has been played between New Hope Solebury and South Hunterdon to generally cap off the season in a Turkey Bowl game. After a big Lions’ win last year (14-7), the Eagles are leading the yearly tradition at 3-2. Seeking another win this year would push the Lions to 3-3 in the competitive and festive match and 9-2 overall to cap off another remarkable season.
“The atmosphere when the two teams clash is noteworthy and like no other.” Senior lineman, Matt Fest stated. The “Battle of the Bridges” game produces the biggest crowd every year between students, local families, and alumni showing their support. Bleachers are always crowd-packed, forcing people to arrive 30 minutes to an hour before coin toss to reserve a seat, which is unheard of for most of the Lions games. Bodies loom around the fences while awaiting the early 10:30 a.m. start-time to kickoff the action-packed holiday.
After the 14-7 hard-fought win last year at home, the Lions will travel back to Eagle territory to seek revenge after a brutal 31-0 loss two years ago.
“They got lucky. They know they couldn’t have competed with us if we had all of our starters.” Danny Doherty noted after suffering through a career-ending shoulder injury. In 2014, eight Lion starters were benched for disciplinary action leading to the gruesome loss.
The Lions are coming into this game with a record of 8-2, and are hoping to keep the Eagles winless this season. Their record is 0-8. The Lions have a 4-1 record at home and a 4-1 record on the road. After a Lion’s 36-13 loss to a powerful Del-Val Charter, which stopped their playoff run , the Lions’ seniors look to end their high school careers with a big Turkey Bowl win. With a week and half of practice, there is no reason why this talented New Hope team shouldn’t come out on top.