H.D. Woodson's 6-0 victory over Anacostia on Thanksgiving Day ended another successful D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association football season. But the players in that game, and many in the big crowd at Eastern High School Thursday, have little idea that the D.C. public school championship game was once only a prelude to the game of the year -- the City Title football game.

That game -- matching the D.C. public school champion and the winner of the area's premier Catholic league -- was played before campacity crowds three times at RFK Stadium. And although a City Title game still is played in basketball, the football game has been simply a faded memory since a racially charged riot marred the outcome in 1962.

However, with the success of some D.C. public school teams against suburban teams this season, there has been some talk that the Washington area again should conclude with a City Title game.

"I think it could happen," said Coach Bill McGregor, whose DeMatha team last week won its fourth straight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. "It would be good for the D.C. community in terms of renewing interest in the game."

Allen Chin, DCIAA athletic director, said he had undertaken private talks for three years with J. Dallas Shirley, the WCAC commissioner who died in the spring. The WCAC currently does not have a commissioner, but Chin said the game could be renewed if each league's coaches and administrators worked toward an agreement.

Anacostia Coach Willie Stewart, who has had sons play in both leagues and listened to their dinner table arguments about which league is better, said he thinks a City Title game could be successful.

"I am sure {the game} can create interest because it is all about bragging rights," said Stewart. "Everyone wants to know who has the superior program. All the football lovers would love to see that game, if you could get it off the ground."

But it was not that long ago that Stewart was among those who would not have believed a City Title football game could become a reality.

For many longtime administrators and coaches who are still major factors in both league, the memory of the 1962 game still lingers. Between 1960 and 1962, record crowds of more than 47,000 packed the then-new D.C. Stadium (later renamed RFK Stadium) on Thanksgiving Day.

However, in 1962, eight years after the Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education Supreme Court decision that ordered integration of the nation's school systems, St. John's -- a predominantly white school in Northwest D.C. -- defeated Eastern -- a majority black school in Northeast -- 20-7.

During the latter part of the game a fight broke out on the field, and spread into the crowd of 50,033. The resulting riots lasted hours and caused hundreds of injuries. Two days later, the Catholic Archdiocese withdrew its participation in the game and local black leaders announced their agreement with the decision.

"The game was a victim of the racial tension of the times," said Joe Gallagher, best-known as the longtime St. John's boys basketball coach, but also a highly successful football coach of the Cadets between 1946 and 1967. "It attracted local and national attention. It was very exciting for the kids."

In recent years, any thoughts of rekindling the game stopped with the apparent difference in talent between the leagues. DCIAA teams routinely were routed when they ventured to play suburban or private teams, but this season, Anacostia defeated Hylton of Woodbridge, 13-7. H.D. Woodson defeated Oxon Hill, 21-6, and barely lost to Hylton, 8-7.

"I am pretty confident that we could hold our own," said Stewart.

Chin said several stumbling blocks remain in renewing the game. "Who would sponsor {the game}? And would the two leagues be able to afford it?"

But Chin says he likes the concept. "I am willing to talk to anybody in the Catholic League," he said.

Anacostia linebacker Antjuan Awatese, who played two seasons in the WCAC at McNamara, said this year's Anacostia team could compete with the likes of DeMatha, the WCAC champion.

"I think this team can compete because of the way we matchup size-wise and speed-wise," said the senior captain.

Anacostia offensive and defensive lineman Chris Heard said DCIAA players are anxious for the opportunity to show how the quality of play in their league has improved.

"We cannot prove ourselves," Heard said, "unless we play those teams to see who is number one in the city."