The Toll Gate football team is looking to build its lead over cross town rival Pilgrim this Thanksgiving.
The Titans won the first two matchups after the teams began playing one another after the Warwick Vets consolidation in 2015. Toll Gate was victorious in rounds 1 and 2, but the Pats would pick up the win last year to claim their first-ever Beacon Bowl.
Pilgrim had the more successful 2019 campaign, going undefeated and winning the Division III Super Bowl over Tolman. Toll Gate did have a solid season, though, finishing 6-3 and reaching the Division IV semifinals.
Although the Titans are seen as the underdogs, head coach Jim Stringfellow does not see it that way heading into Thursday’s game.
“Pilgrim is going to be a tough battle. They had a great season, (they played in) the Super Bowl, they’re talented, it’s a tough rivalry. Records don’t mean anything in rivalries. We had a great season and now we’re looking forward to Thanksgiving,” said Stringfellow.
The Titans are aiming to win their third Beacon Bowl over their rivals, but at the same time, respect their fellow Warwick residents and the connection between schools and programs.
“Our staff has a lot of ties to Pilgrim,” said Stringfellow. “I played there, I coached there, Matt Raso played there, there are a lot of ties. I have two assistant coaches that played for Vets so they’re familiar with them and played them at Thanksgiving. They had a great year, but we want to beat them on Thanksgiving.”