It wasn’t tackle football, but the Farrell-St. Peter’s 7-on-7 flag game was significant for other reasons

Special from Staten Island Advance /

Published on October 08 2020

Perhaps, it wasn’t the typical Monsignor Farrell-St. Peter’s gridiron matchup we’re accustomed to seeing, but it may have carried even more significance as the two teams squared off in the inaugural CHSFL 7-on-7 Flag Football matchup Thursday at Farrell’s DiTommaso Field.

Due to the pandemic, the CHSFL moved its tackle season to March and is using the fall to practice and play a flag football campaign.

In a game that had more of the feel of an intra-squad scrimmage than that of a matchup of bitter rivals, the two teams didn’t seem to be aware or even really all too concerned about the running score.

“There was a score, but it really wasn’t even about that. We’re just happy everyone was able to get back on the field safely,” noted Farrell head coach Tony Garofalo, whose Lions ultimately walked away with a 38-23 win.

The game consisted of seven defensive players and eight offensive players, including a kneeling center as the quarterback attempted to get rid of the ball within a seven-second count. Both teams operated in the same direction on a 50-yard playing field. The traditional flag rules were adjusted to include single-hand touching below the neck for tackles replacing flag pulls. Interceptions resulted in a dead-ball and a score for the defensive team.

While the rules and scoring appeared equally unclear to both sides, St. Peter’s head coach Mark DeCristoforo was content with the perspective he gained on his team.

“We got to practice our coverages and our routes,” he said. “What’s great about doing it competitively is you can do it a million times in practice but it’s not game-speed.”

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