TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)– After 100 consecutive meetings, players from Calvert Hall and Loyola Blakefield will not be taking the field for the annual Turkey Bowl football game this Thanksgiving day due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The game is one of the nation’s most storied and longest-running high school football traditions, but after an executive order issued for Baltimore County that restricts outdoor gatherings, including high school athletics, went into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, the decision was made to suspend the contest.

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In a joint statement the President of Calvert Hall, Brother John Kane, and the President of Loyola Blakefield, Anthony I. Day, said the following:

“When our schools reopened for the 2020-21 academic year, students returned to campuses that felt different than the ones they left in March.”

Although the year began with a sense of unease and a healthy level of trepidation, our school communities quickly found their groove.

A turning point was the commencement of an abbreviated fall sports season.

With that came the anticipation of celebrating the 101st Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving morning.

With the issuance of the Executive Order restricting gatherings and high school sports contests in Baltimore County, we sincerely regret that this treasured tradition will not be held in 2020.

We respect the efforts of Baltimore County government leadership to safeguard its citizens and we share a desire to do our part to avoid contributing to the soaring COVID-19 metrics in our region.

While there is disappointment felt by members of our school communities, most especially the student-athletes and coaches who have prepared for this annual match-up, there is also a shared sense of gratitude for the many blessings this school year has already delivered.

As we all celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let us honor the proud legacy that 100 years of Turkey Bowl history have brought to the Cardinal and Dons faithful.

We look forward to resuming this storied rivalry and having you join us in the stands to cheer on two of the finest Catholic institutions in the nation.”

The game was scheduled to be hosted at Calvert Hall’s Paul Angelo Russo Stadium.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff