April 26, 2018

2017 Ravens 7-on-7 high school football passing tournament preview

File photo by Kyle McFadden/MSA.

The 2016-17 high school sports season ended a week ago, so that means it’s the “offseason,” right? Wrong! This Sunday — June 4 — the 2017-18 high school sports is officially (but yet unofficially) in swing with the Ravens 7-on-7 high school football passing tournament at St. Paul’s School. MSA will have coverage of the event and delve behind the scenes with some of the top teams in the state so you, the fans, can get a snippet of where your favorite squad stands heading into the summer. There isn’t any pads or helmets, but at the end of the day, it’s a pigskin. The event schedule is TBA. Here’s how it’ll work:

ADDRESS: ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL, 11152 Falls Road, Brooklandville, Md. 21022



Annapolis (11-2, lost in 4A semifinals to Quince Orchard; 42-14)

Broadneck (8-4, lost in 4A East region title game to Annapolis; 48-34)

Brunswick (0-10, missed playoffs)

Centennial (1-9, missed playoffs)

Friendly (5-5, missed playoffs)

Gonzaga (D.C.) (8-3, lost in WCAC semifinals to St. John’s College; 38-21)

Hammond (0-10, missed playoffs)

Howard (11-2, lost in 4A semifinals to Wise; 48-0)

John Carroll (1-9, sixth of seventh in MIAA B conference standings)

Kent Island (9-2, lost in 2A East semifinals to North Caroline; 14-7)

Liberty (9-2, lost in 2A West semifinals to Middletown; 48-7)

Linganore (7-4, lost in 3A West semifinals to Damascus; 21-7)

Long Reach (8-3, lost in 3A East semifinals to River Hill; 20-14)

Manchester Valley (2-8, missed playoffs)

Marriotts Ridge (5-5, missed playoffs)

Mount Hebron (2-8, missed playoffs)

Northwestern-PG (5-5, missed playoffs)

Oakdale (9-3, lost in 3A West title region title game to Damascus; 42-21)

Old Mill (10-1, lost in 4A East semifinals to Broadneck, 20-17)

Oxon Hill (11-1, lost in 3A South semifinals to Potomac, 34-32)

Patterson (3-7, missed playoffs)

Perry Hall (7-3, missed playoffs)

Pikesville (1-9, missed playoffs)

Reginald Lewis (11-1, lost in 1A South region title game to Edmondson-Westside, 40-20)

River Hill (7-5, lost in 3A East region title game to Glenelg, 38-7)

Silver Oak (1-11)

South River (1-9, missed playoffs)

Smyrna (Del.) (12-0, won Delaware Division I football title; top-ranked team in Del. by USA Today and MaxPreps)

Tuscarora (8-3, lost in 3A West semifinals to Oakdale, 40-28)

Urbana (2-8, missed playoffs)

Wheaton (4-6, missed playoffs)

As opposed to a traditional high school football game with four, 12-minute quarters, the 7-on-7 passing tournament is operated a tad differently. Here are the complete rules and guidelines below:

Method of play

  • Pregame coin flip to determine who starts on offense
  • The ball will always start on the offense’s 40-yard line to start a possession (This includes interceptions not returned for TD’s)
  • Offense will be given four downs to make a first down at the 20-yard line in order to receive four additional downs
  • Offense may have only five eligibles whether it’s a running back in the back field or a wide receiver, plus QB and Center (Center is optional)
  • Offense must have at least one back/receiver lined up within imaginary tackles upon snap of ball at least five yards deep. You cannot motion to an empty set
  • The football must be thrown within four seconds with a center-quarterback exchange and within three seconds without a center-quarterback exchange. Officials use electronic countdown timers on the field and will not count out loud. A sack occurs when the quarterback does not RELEASE the ball in time (if the timer goes off with the arm in motion, it’s a sack) – play the next down from the previous line of scrimmage
  • The ball is declared dead when the runner is tagged with one hand between the shoulders and the knees (including the hand and arm) or the ball touches the ground (this does not include the center-quarterback exchange)
  • Offenses may finish a drive started before time has expired only if they have a chance to win or tie
  • Ties will be played immediately by method of sudden death overtime. Each team is given three plays with the team gaining the most yards winning. Interceptions constitute a dead ball during sudden death
  • All touchdowns are one point (includes interceptions for scores). No PATs
  • Team with the most points at the expiration of time wins


  • Each game will be 40 minutes running time with a 30-second play clock
  • No timeouts (with the exception of an official calling time for clarification, injury, etc.)
  • Mouthpieces are mandatory on the field of play
  • No running plays (QB may not run the football)
  • Offensive players are responsible for retrieving the football after each play
  • No coaches or additional players are allowed on the field during play
  • No blocking or screen blocking whatsoever. Blocking constitutes a loss of down penalty
  • The offense may pass the ball only once from the QB during a play. Double passes constitute an illegal forward pass
  • Defense cannot line up closer than three yards from the line of scrimmage. Defense must give offense a free release off the line of scrimmage
  • NO CONTACT ON DEFENSE during route progressions – contact is defined as body to body, forearms, or with two hands. One hand does not constitute contact (except for holding). It is the responsibility of the defender to avoid contact


About Kyle McFadden 416 Articles
Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School's Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore's student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles. McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access. With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels. McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church -- serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night. Although he's only been around journalism since January 2014, he's a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post. McFadden's work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He's also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists. McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor's degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.
Contact: Twitter

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