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Annual Portland-Deering Thanksgiving football game returns for 109th year

The Bulldogs beat the rams 68-3. Last year's game was canceled due to the pandemic.

PORTLAND, Maine — The annual Portland-Deering Thanksgiving football game returned this year. 

The rival teams took to the field at Fitzpatrick Stadium at 10:30 a.m. Thursday to face off for the tradition's 109th year. 

The Bulldogs crushed the Rams 68 to 3. 

Portland was 10-1 this season, after losing their official last game in the regional finals. Seniors on the team said being able to win Thursday's game was pretty sweet.

"It's very important. It's very emotional," Grant Haron said. "At the end of the day, you have to look up and think about the common strengths we have."

The "Turkey Day" game was called off last year due to the pandemic. While dozens of people filled the stands, attendance was not a strong as it has been in the past.

Players and coaches are still hopeful the tradition will continue for years to come. 

"This is the 109th playing of the game," Portland coach Jason McLeod told NEWS CENTER Maine. "It means a lot. It means a lot to Deering. It means a lot to us. It means a lot to the City of Portland."