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The Philadelphia Eagles take out the Pittsburgh Steelers, 20-14, in the first-ever Big 33 girls’ flag football all-star game

Written by: on Sunday, May 26th, 2024. Follow Joseph Santoliquito on Twitter.


MECHANICSBURG, PA — Krista Quinn never played a varsity sport in high school. She easily could have. She is quick. She is fast. She is certainly difficult to track in the open field. All she has known is flag football the last six years. Quinn, a Gwynedd Mercy Academy senior, is in many ways a pioneer.

She is the first girl to receive a Maxwell Club award for girls’ flag football, and on Sunday, she became a part of the first girls’ flag football team to win the Big 33 All-Star game between teams from the Philadelphia area and Pittsburgh.

Quinn did everything, throwing for two scores and running for another in leading the Eagles to a 20-14 win over the Pittsburgh team called the Steelers at Cumberland Valley’s Chapman Field.

“This means a lot to me, being the first (to win the Big 33 All-Star flag football game),” said Quinn, who will be joining her older sister, Caitlin, at Milligan University, an NAIA school in Tennessee, to play flag football on a scholarship. “Honestly, we were right there on the edge of girls’ flag football being played for a state championship, starting next year. I see what my father (Eagles’ coach Tim Quinn) and my family has done to promote the game of flag football among girls.

“I’m waiting for my sister to come up and continue. There are going to be a lot of coaches in other sports like track, softball and lacrosse, spring sports, not happy about the amounts of women who want to play flag football. I was at the national tryouts and there were a lot of pro women basketball players there, too. This is an amazing sport.”

It was Krista Quinn who drew her buddy, Lansdale Catholic senior Courtney Kovacs, into flag football.

Kovacs played field hockey her freshman year and basketball her freshman and sophomore year. She began gravitating toward flag football when no girls had any interest at Lansdale Catholic. Kovacs was just added to the Eagles roster the last few days, and she had one touchdown catch, an interception and hauled in a long Krista Quinn pass that set up another Eagles’ score.

“This was really unique and it was entirely Krista who drew me to flag football,” Kovacs said. “I did not have any interest in football before I began playing. Now I can’t watch to see the Eagles play on Sundays and seeing what they do. This is crazy. It is really overwhelming to come out as the winner in this game.”

That almost did not happen, thanks to Moon Area’s Charity Fisher and Serayah Leech, who will be going to the University of Indiana of Pennsylvania on a soccer scholarship as a goalie.

Fisher and Leech both made stunning catches that kept the Pittsburgh team in the game. It was interesting that Leech wore No. 88, Hall of Famer Lynn Swann’s number. Swann, a legend of the Steelers’ 1970’s dynasty, played well before Leech was even born.

“I don’t know who wore No. 88, it was just a jersey I grabbed because it fit me,” said Leech, who did look like Swann diving for the Steelers’ first touchdown. “I am a soccer player and I thought I would try flag football. I have been flag football since I was 11. A lot of the girls on the Eagles’ team I have been playing since then.

“There are so many girls here that are multiple-sport athletes. Flag football gives them even another opportunity to play another sport, and this is going to grow. I will google No. 88, Pittsburgh Steelers though.”

Farrah Watson, a Bensalem senior, will be going to Towson in the fall. She ran track for three years for the Owls, and her track coach initially had an issue with her playing flag football.

“I have a feeling flag football will grow among girls,” Watson said. “This is amazing to make history, knowing that we were the first team to do this.”

Scoring Summary

Steelers 0 14 -14

Eagles 14 6 – 20

1st Half

Eagles – Courtney Kovacs 16 pass from Krista Quinn (Quinn 1-point run)

Eagles – Farrah Watson 14 pass from Quinn (Quinn 1-point run)

2nd Half

Steelers – Serayah Leech 18 pass from Kyra Schmidt (pass failed)

Eagles – Andrea Quijano 7 pass from Quinn (run failed)

Steelers – Charity Fisher 68 pass from Schmidt (Schmidt 2-point run)

Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been covering high school football since 1992 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be followed on Twitter @JSantoliquito

Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball

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