Thanksgiving Rivalry

Griswold High School Football's rivalry with neighboring town Plainfield High School goes back to 1937. Since then, games have only been canceled due to World War II and the COVID-19 Pandemic. The true Thanksgiving Day Game rivalry started in 1966. Some have called it "the clash along county lines."

The winner of the Griswold/Plainfield Thanksgiving Football Game is presented with the LeClaire Trophy. The winning school will keep the trophy until the next Thanksgiving football game. The award was originally created in the 1960's by the Griswold Booster Club.

Another portion of the tradition is a bonfire the night before Thanksgiving, where seniors celebrate their last game of the season and their high school football career. At the game, Griswold High School and Plainfield High School Chamber Choirs come together to sing the National Anthem.

2021-22 GHS Football Head Coach is Gregg Wilcox.

Game History

Series Record: Griswold 46 wins, Plainfield 34 wins, 5 ties

Griswold score always shown first (Griswold-Plainfield)

  • 2021 - TBD! Game to take place on November 25, 2021 at 10:00 a.m.
  • 2020 - No game due to COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 2019 - Win at Home, 7-6 Watch on SNSN
  • 2018 - Win at Plainfield, 13-6
  • 2017 - Win at Home, 12-0
  • 2016 - Loss at Plainfield High, 0-28
  • 2015 - Win at Home, 27-21 (13 consecutive years)
  • 2014 - Win at Plainfield, 20-12
  • 2013 - Win at Home, 25-6
  • 2012 - Win at Plainfield, 41-22
  • 2011 - Win at Home, 21-20
  • 2010 - Win at Plainfield, 47-28
  • 2009 - Win at Home, 34-32
  • 2008 - Win at Plainfield, 34-29 See News Clip Below
  • 2007 - Win at Home, 35-15
  • 2006 - Win at Plainfield, 21-10
  • 2005 - Win at Home, 27-0
  • 2004 - Win at Home, 27-7
  • 2003 - Win at Plainfield, 28-27 (in OT)
  • 2002 - Loss, 14-37
  • 2001 - Loss, 15-22
  • 2000 - Win, 24-0
  • 1999 - Loss, 0-35
  • 1998 - Loss, 6-20
  • 1997 - Loss, 8-23
  • 1996 - Loss, 12-42
  • 1995 - Win, 29-18
  • 1994 - Win, 20-14
  • 1993 - Loss, 6-41
  • 1992 - Loss, 0-43
  • 1991 - Loss, 28-38
  • 1990 - Loss, 20-34
  • 1989 - Win, 20-12
  • 1988 - Loss, 6-22
  • 1987 - Loss, 14-26
  • 1986 - Win, 20-18
  • 1985 - Win, 14-9
  • 1984 - Win 24-0
  • 1983 - Loss, 20-28
  • 1982 - Win, 30-18
  • 1981 - Loss, 10-16
  • 1980 - Loss, 18-36
  • 1979 - Loss, 6-14
  • 1978 - Loss, 16-20
  • 1977 - Loss, 10-40
  • 1976 - Loss, 10-46
  • 1975 - Loss, 0-57 (ouch)
  • 1974 - Loss, 14-49
  • 1973 - Loss, 0-13
  • 1972 - Loss, 0-35
  • 1971 - Loss, 6-36
  • 1970 - Win, 33-12
  • 1969 - Win, 22-14
  • 1968 - Win 16-14
  • 1967 - Win, 2-0
  • 1966 - Win at Plainfield, 44-6 Read the news clip from 1966 here
  • 1965 - Loss, 0-20
  • 1964 - Win, 28-6
  • 1963 - Win, 14-0
  • 1962 - Win, 20-8
  • 1961 - Win, 22-12
  • 1960 - Two Games, Both Wins, 8-6 and 8-0
  • 1959 - Two Games, One Tie 6-6, One Win 6-0
  • 1958 - Loss, 0-36
  • 1957 - Win, 26-7
  • 1956 - Two Games, One Tie 7-7, One Loss 13-14
  • 1955 - Two Games, Both Losses, 7-13 and 0-14
  • 1954 - Loss, 0-25
  • 1953 - Two Games, Both Wins, 14-0 and 13-6
  • 1952 - Win, 13-0
  • 1951 - Win, 27-13
  • 1950 - Loss, 7-32
  • 1949 - Loss, 7-8
  • 1948 - Two Games, Both Wins, 20-6 and 6-0
  • 1947 - Two Games, Both Wins, 26-6 and 13-0
  • 1946 - Tie, 6-6
  • 1945 - No Game, WWII
  • 1944 - No Game, WWII
  • 1943 - No Game, WWII
  • 1942 - No Game, WWII
  • 1941 - No Game, WWII
  • 1940 - Loss, 0-7
  • 1939 - Tie, 0-0
  • 1938 - Tie, 0-0
  • 1937 - Win, 7-0

high school football quarterback throwing

Sean Brackett, Griswold's senior quarterback, throws the ball against Plainfield in the 2008 Thanksgiving game. (Photo credit/the Norwich Bulletin)

2008 Thanksgiving Match-up

Written by Jeff Jacobs for Gametime CT

With pro sports, college sports, the occasional Manchester Road Race cramming my November calendar, I’ve only covered a handful of Thanksgiving games since I arrived in Connecticut in 1984. That doesn’t mean I don’t go to high school Thanksgiving games.

Living out in the Quiet Corner, Plainfield and Griswold has become a quiet passion of mine over the years and a not-so-quiet source of frustration. Griswold has beaten my Panthers 16 of 17 times. These are similar-sized schools from adjacent towns. There is no built-in advantage. Plainfield often has the better team. Doesn’t matter. Griswold always wins.

The Wolverines have won in all sorts of cruel and unusual ways. Invariably, it comes down to the closing minutes. People around the state await the score, because often the game has a bearing on state playoff ramifications in the smaller classes. In the past few years, Plainfield has gotten in the state playoffs... and still lost to Griswold.

Still, one of the losses stands out as the worst. Or the best, if you are Griswold.

Mrs. Brackett was my son’s seventh grade teacher at St. James School in Danielson. Terrific woman. Her son Sean was the quarterback for Griswold and a heck of player for Columbia before going on to play in the Arena Football League and National Arena League (MVP in 2018, in fact). What he did with the last pass of his high school career, though, it is the stuff of local legend.

This was Thanksgiving 2008 at Plainfield. Griswold went up 28-22 with 2:13 left to play when Brackett threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to junior Rob Foisey and for a two-point conversion. Dramatically, Plainfield answered to take a 29-28 lead with 39 seconds left. Another heart pounder.

A 15-yard pass by Brackett, a 12-yard scramble, incomplete pass. Ball is on the Plainfield 43. As time elapsed, Brackett dropped back. He estimated he threw the ball 60 yards in the air. For a high schooler, a Hail Mary’s Hail Mary. A Plainfield defender knocked down the pass, but the ball somehow deflected into the hands of Griswold’s Drew Gardner (senior). OMG. Final: Griswold 35, Plainfield (8-3) 29.

“Just unbelievable,” Brackett, who threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, told Bob Bogert of the Norwich Bulletin. “I didn’t even know that Gardner had caught the ball. I saw our guys on the sideline start running to the end zone and our fans were just going wild.”

“I’m just speechless right now,” Plainfield coach Pat Smith said. “It was one of the best high school games that I’ve been a part of.”