The St. Augustine Prep and Buena Regional high school football teams begin the annual Thanksgiving rivalry football games tonight.

The teams kick off at 7 p.m. at Buena Regional. Both made the playoffs this season but both lost in the first round. St. Augustine (8-1) is No. 8 in The Press' Elite 11.

Why this game is special: These schools are located a 10-minute drive apart and are neighborhood rivals. Buena leads the series 12-6. But St. Augustine won 38-28 last season and holds a 5-3 edge since 2001.

St. Augustine update: The Hermits won the Cape-Atlantic League National Conference for the second straight season. Quarterback Dustin Thomas leads St. Augustine with 1,476 passing yards and 21 touchdown passes. Thomas holds the southern New Jersey record for most career touchdown passes with 67. Gabe Voumard (WR/DE) is a dynamic player on offense and defense with nine touchdown catches and six sacks. St. Augustine comes off its only loss - a 49-14 defeat to Seton Hall Prep in the first round of the state Non-Public IV playoffs.

Buena Regional update: Buena is a young team. The Chiefs are run-oriented with quarterback Donetae McKinnon (110 carries for 713 yards) and running back Michael Haygood (93 carries for 615 yards). The Chiefs lost to West Deptford 56-12 in the first round of the South Jersey Group II playoffs.

Contact Michael McGarry:

609-272-7185