Class of 1997 Tops Class of 2000, 22-15, in Thanksgiving Showdown
The La Canada High Class of 1997 won its second straight Thanksgiving Showdown last Friday at the LCH football field, 22-15.
With the victory, the overall series with the Class of 2000 is knotted at three games apiece after six years of competition. When asked how he felt after the game, game MVP Mike Riddell said, "Big time players make big time plays, in big time games," and that is exactly how he played.
The sixth annual Thanksgiving Showdown started the same as last year's game, with a Joe Schmitt safety. Except this time it was a Schmitt botched snap that gave the Class of 2000 a 2-0 lead only one minute into the game.
Schmitt then proceeded to break his foot and was forced to watch the rest of the game from the sidelines. This was no deterrent to the Class of 1997, though, as on the very next drive, 1997 quarterback Jeff Riddell hit his brother Mike Riddell on a 18-yard touchdown strike.
A 65 yard Jeff Riddell pass to Jared Kushida set up another short Mike Riddell TD and at halftime, the Class 1997 lead the Class of 2000, 14-2.
After an inspired halftime speech, the Class of 2000 came out flying in the second half. Class of 2000 captain Mike Schmitt, caught a 45-yard Nick Racklin TD pass on just the second drive of the half to narrow the gap.
That was soon followed by another Racklin TD pass, this time hooking up with Chet Blasucci in the end zone. Momentum had rapidly shifted in the second half and the Class of 2000 now had the lead at 15-14.
After a series of traded possessions, the Class of 1997 got the ball back on its own 20 yard line with less than five minutes to play. A sustained drive led to an eight-yard game winning TD reception by Dave Mieding.
This was Mieding's first TD in six years, and it couldn't have come at a better time. The Class of 2000 got the ball back, but was unable to convert on a crucial fourth down, which sealed the contest at 22-15.
This tradition will be taken to a whole new level next year, as both teams will be competing for the overall series lead.