In front of a then Ihrig Field record of 8,500 on Thanksgiving Day 1971, Riverview High’s Frank Goddard Jr. kicked a 35-yard field goal with 17 seconds remaining that gave the visiting Rams a 19-16 victory over city rival Sarasota High.
Jack Gurney of the Sarasota Journal, who suggested the crowd cheered itself “hoarse,” wrote that Goddard’s kick would be remembered “as long as there is a Turkey Bowl game played in this town.” The victory enabled Riverview to cap a 9-1 season and the South Florida Conference championship.
Riverview jumped out to a 16-0 lead, but Sarasota pulled within eight to make it 16-8 at halftime of the game, which featured three future NFL Draft picks in Riverview quarterback Scott Gardner, Rams running back Tony Green and Sarasota running back Jimmy DuBose. Gardner would star at the University of Virginia before being drafted by the Buffalo Bills, while Green and DuBose played at the University of Florida before beginning their pro careers with the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, respectively.
Gardner threw for 136 yards with one touchdown to right end Jim Ward and one interception on 14-of-30 passing. Ward, who would later become the winningest boys basketball coach in Riverview history and the school’s athletic director, caught four passes for 69 yards.
DuBose collected 133 yards on 20 carries and was named the game’s Most Valuable Back by a vote of the media. His 4-yard scoring run and subsequent two-point run tied the game at 16 in the third quarter.
However, it was Goddard, son of the then Riverview head coach, whose “name will be surely remembered longer when the subject of the 1971 Turkey Bowl is brought up than any other single figure.” He completed his only pass attempt in the game for 40 yards, caught three passes for 32 yards and converted two field goal attempts.