BRAINTREE (CBS) — Tradition lives on in Braintree because Milton and Braintree High Schools decided to play their annual Thanksgiving Day football game on Thursday. Nearly two dozen schools decided to move their games to Wednesday night because of the blistering cold temperatures.

Milton and Braintree were originally among those schools. But after protests and an online petition with more than 1,800 signatures, school officials moved the game back to Thursday morning.

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Braintree student Kristen Reuss says, “I signed the petition to get it changed and was really happy when it was changed.”

Players and cheerleaders for Braintree surrounding the heater. Temperature was 16 degrees at kickoff. (Photo credit: Gary Brode – WBZ-TV)

Braintree Head Football Coach, Brian Chamberlain, says, “I’m a traditionalist. I’ve played on Thanksgiving. I’ve coached on Thanksgiving the whole time. This is when we should be playing.”

“Our kids wanted to play on Thanksgiving Day,” adds Milton coach Steve Dembowski, although he said would have been fine with slightly warmer weather.

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“I played on Thanksgiving Day and it’s something that we look forward to,” says Braintree graduate Thiago Vinto.

It was 16 degrees at kickoff. During the game, we saw some fans going to their cars to warm up for a few minutes.

Fans were bundled up for the Braintree vs. Milton High School football game on Thanksgiving (WBZ-TV)

Braintree Running back and Game MVP, Billy Silvia, says it he was glad they got to play on the holiday. “It was special for us to get this on this day. We really wanted to have our final moments together on this field on a day game. Ending right now.”

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Braintree won the game 35-21.