By Matt Jenkins
---- — Five things you should know heading into tomorrow's Thanksgiving rivalry clash between Marblehead and Swampscott:
1. No title, but plenty at stake: North Shore football fans have been spoiled recently because this game has carried league title implications in three of the last four years. Neither team can make a play for a championship this season, but with a win Marblehead could finish with its best record since its Super Bowl run in 2009. On the other hand, Swampscott needs a win to avoid finishing with less than five wins for the first time since ending up 4-7 in 2000.
2. The chase is on: It means very little in the overall importance of this series, but each team has a tight race for team rushing leaders. Marblehead has three players within striking distance with quarterback Ian Maag (610 yards) and running backs Brooks Tyrrell (575) and Zac Cuzner (518) each in play for the lead. Swampscott, meanwhile, has a two-horse race between QB Brian Santry (383) and Aaron Cronin (382).
3. Fleet-footed field generals: At this point in the season, only five teams on the North Shore have rushing attacks led by their quarterbacks. Marblehead's Maag and Swampscott's Santry are two members of that club, along with Salem's Christian Dunston, Hamilton-Wenham's Trevor Lyons, and Pingree's Jerome Cappadona.
4. A tie will be broken: It would be hard to find a more even series among the North Shore Thanksgiving rivalries. The all-time series is led by Swampscott, 50-49-7, while the Thanksgiving series is currently all knotted up at 48-48-7.
5. Perfect rivals: Only 10 points separates Swampscott from Marblehead in the last six meetings in this series. During that time, the teams have each won three contests.