The Great American Rivalry Series has announced that it will feature the historic 119 year old football rivalry between neighboring township rivals Radnor and Lower Merion Nov. 14 in the Series’ thirteenth weekend of games for 2015.
This game will be presented by the United States Marine Corps and will be played at Radnor High School’s home field. Featuring some of the longest running rivalries in high school football, the 2015 Great American Rivalry Series will feature 100 showdowns nationwide.
For the 12th year, the Great American Rivalry Series has selected an exclusive collection of top-notch rivalries across the country, covering 40 states and over 100 cities throughout the country.
Series founder Rick Ford said, “With all the traditions of these games including bonfires, pep rallies, and parades, high school football has brought communities together to watch their teams compete in these classic battles for more than a hundred years.”
This is one of America’s oldest rivalry games with its first one being played in 1897. It is traditionally the last game of the season for these teams from neighboring in townships in Pennsylvania. Up until the last 15 years, Lower Merion held the dominant upper hand in this rivalry.
When the Aces won the 100th contest, a 27-20 victory in front of 6,000 fans at Arnold Field, Lower Merion held a 53-36-11 advantage. That game, which attracted national attention and was the final game of LM coach Rogers Frassenei’s career, ended when Lower Merion’s Kevin Dixon intercepted a pass in the end zone with 15 seconds left to preserve the win.
When the inaugural Lower Merion-Radnor game was played (Oct. 26, 1897), neither team wore uniforms. Players cut the grass and lined the field before the game. Lower Merion (then known as Ardmore High School) won, 10-4.
One of the attendees at the 1897 contest was Barney Fischer, who came to every Lower Merion-Radnor game until the late 1970s. Every year, he performed a ritual in which he rubbed a silver horseshoe on the shoulders of players and coaches to bring them luck. Currently, the Aces hold the lead with a 56-51-11 record. The storied tradition will continue as the 6-4 Red Raiders will host the 2-8 Aces for the 2015 bragging rights.
The winning team will take home the Great American Rivalry Series Champions trophy, presented by the Marines. The game’s Most Valuable Player and the top student-athlete from each school are also recognized as part of the Series. Along with these awards, an alumnus from each school will be inducted into the 12th class of the Great American Rivalry Series Hall of Fame.
“We are excited to partner once again with the Great American Rivalry Series,” said Leroy Pennington, Marketing Specialist for the United States Marine Corps “The elite status of this Series fits perfectly with the Elite Warrior brand of the Marine Corps and we are proud to stand alongside these outstanding young athletes.”
You can find more information at GreatAmericanRivalry.com or through the Series’ Twitter (@AmericanRivalry), Facebook, YouTube and Instagram accounts. Previews and past results will be posted throughout the season with details of the teams and the history of the rivalries, and after the game. Fans can relive the excitement with photo galleries and game recaps.
Fans can add to the intensity of the rivalry via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram using #GreatAmericanRivalry. The Rivalry can also be found on Pinterest (AmericanRivalry) and YouTube. Fan photos posted with this hashtag may be featured on the Great American Rivalry Series website’s new Fan Photo Gallery, Pinterest Page.
In 2004, iHigh, Inc. (now known as BrainBox Intelligent Marketing) created the Great American Rivalry Series to celebrate this uniquely American sport and the cultural phenomenon of “Friday Night in America.” In 11 years the Series has gone to more than 500 games in 40 states and continues to shine the spotlight on top high school football rivalries across the nation, where long-standing traditions are valued, expectations are sky-high, and fans are committed.
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