The tradition continues


By Sarah Hawley - shawley@aimmediamidwest.com



Richard Hovatter, 1957 Middlport alumnus, made the call heads or tails for the 2019 Middleport-Pomeroy Thanksgiving Day game. Nolan Blake, grandson of John Blake, Middleport alumus, tossed the coin with Middleport winner.

Richard Hovatter, 1957 Middlport alumnus, made the call heads or tails for the 2019 Middleport-Pomeroy Thanksgiving Day game. Nolan Blake, grandson of John Blake, Middleport alumus, tossed the coin with Middleport winner.


Dreama Knight | Courtesy photo

MIDDLEPORT — A rivalry that began on Thanksgiving Day 1925 continues today with families from both sides meeting each Thanksgiving.

The Middleport versus Pomeroy high school football rivalry began on Nov. 26, 1925, with the Middleport Yellow Jackets winning that first Thanksgiving Day game 40-12.

The rivalry between the Yellow Jackets and the Pomeroy Panthers would continue on the field for 42 years on Thanksgiving Day. Both the Panthers and Yellow Jackets, along with the Rutland Red Devils, consolidated in 1967 to form Meigs High School.

Now, families from both sides of the rivalry meet on Thanksgiving Day for a coin toss to determine the “winner” of the contest each year.

There were several in attendance this year for the 2019 Middleport/Pomeroy Thanksgiving Day game coin toss.

This year, Richard Hovatter, 1957 Middlport alumnus, was selected to make the call heads or tails and he called heads. Nolan Blake grandson of John Blake, Middleport alumnus, tossed the coin and heads won.

In 1959, the rivals met on Thanksgiving Day for the final holiday game. The Yellow Jackets headed to Pomeroy to take on the Panthers. The Panthers won that day by a score of 14-8. Seven years later, in the fall of 1966, the Panthers and the Yellow Jackets faced off one final time – final score, Pomeroy – 32, Middleport – 16, thus closing out the 42-year rivalry of The Middleport Yellow Jackets and The Pomeroy Panthers. Of the 42 games played, Middleport won 19 of those to Pomeroy’s 18 wins. Five games ended in a tie. The scores of all 42 contests are listed below.

1925: Middleport 40, Pomeroy 12

1926: Middleport 19, Pomeroy 0

1927: Middleport 6, Pomeroy 0

1928: Middleport 19, Pomeroy 0

1929: Middleport 38, Pomeroy 0

1930: Middleport 45, Pomeroy 0

1931: Middleport 0, Pomeroy 0 (TIE)

1932: Pomeroy 25, Middleport 0 (First Pomeroy Win)

1933: Middleport 6, Pomeroy 0

1934: Middleport 12, Pomeroy 6

1935: Middleport 19, Pomeroy 0

1936: Pomeroy 18, Middleport 6

1937: Pomeroy 39, Middleport 0

1938: Middleport 0, Pomeroy 0 (TIE)

1939: Middleport 0, Pomeroy 0 (TIE)

1940: Pomeroy 20, Middleport 12

1941: Pomeroy 20, Middleport 0

1942: Middleport 7, Pomeroy 6

1943: Middleport 13, Pomeroy 13 (TIE)

1944: Middleport 0, Pomeroy 0

1945: Middleport 20, Pomeroy 12

1946: Pomeroy 12, Middleport 7

1947: Middleport 12, Pomeroy 6

1948: Pomeroy 7, Middleport 6

1949: Middleport 13, Pomeroy 13 (TIE)

1950: Middleport 33, Pomeroy 12

1951: Middleport 12, Pomeroy 0 (First game on Pomeroy’s Athletic Field)

1952: Middleport 57, Pomeroy 0

1953: Middleport 26, Pomeroy 13

1954: Pomeroy 38, Middleport 0

1955: Pomeroy 53, Middleport 0

1956: Pomeroy 34, Middleport 13

1957: Pomeroy 27, Middleport 0

1958: Pomeroy 44, Middleport 12

1959: Pomeroy 14, Middleport 8 (Last time these two played on Thanksgiving Day)

1960: Middleport 18, Pomeroy 14

1961: Pomeroy 60, Middleport 14

1962: Pomeroy 14, Middleport 6

1963: Pomeroy 32, Middleport 8

1964: Pomeroy 18, Middleport 14

1965: Middleport 6, Pomeroy 0

1966: Pomeroy 32, Middleport 16

Information on the history of the rivalry originally published as part of an article written by Jordan Pickens. Information and photo on the 2019 event provided by Dreama Knight.

Richard Hovatter, 1957 Middlport alumnus, made the call heads or tails for the 2019 Middleport-Pomeroy Thanksgiving Day game. Nolan Blake, grandson of John Blake, Middleport alumus, tossed the coin with Middleport winner.
https://www.mydailysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/14/2019/12/web1_12.8-Thanksgiving-Rivalry.jpgRichard Hovatter, 1957 Middlport alumnus, made the call heads or tails for the 2019 Middleport-Pomeroy Thanksgiving Day game. Nolan Blake, grandson of John Blake, Middleport alumus, tossed the coin with Middleport winner. Dreama Knight | Courtesy photo

By Sarah Hawley

shawley@aimmediamidwest.com

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.