MILLBURN, NJ - A tradition will be renewed on Thanksgiving morning, but then will come to an end, when the Madison and Millburn football teams meet on the holiday for the final time.
The two schools will play football for the 85th and final time on or around the holiday Thursday at 11 a.m.
"The joint decision to discontinue the Thanksgiving Day Game has been made between Administration and Coaches at both high schools," the athletic directors of the two schools, Sean Dowling of Madison and Frank BiFulco of Millburn, recently said in a joint statement. "Ultimately, all agreed that this decision is athletically and educationally in the best interest of both schools and their student-athletes."
Madison holds a 52-27-5 lead in the overall series, whose end was also recommended by the North Jersey Football Super Conference to enable both football programs to schedule more competitive crossover matchups and to provide them with more flexibility to do so.
Madison is 4-5 this season. Millburn is 2-7. The only longer-running continuous Thanksgiving football series involving an Essex County team or teams is the Montclair-Bloomfield matchup, which has been going on for 90 years. No Morris County program is involved in an older Thanksgiving rivalry than Madison.
For Millburn, senior quarterback Peter Serruto has passed for 1,325 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Serruto is headed to Rutgers University on a baseball scholarship. He was the starting catcher on Millburn's 2017 Group 4 state champion baseball team, which also had Ben Pampush starting at second base. Pampush leads Millburn's football team in receptions (38) and touchdown catches (4), with an average of 15 yards per catch. Patrick Fitzsimmons is the Millers' leading rusher with 363 yards on 76 carries.
On defense, Zack Bondy and Griffin Titan each have two interceptions for Millburn.