WESTON — The number three carries a special meaning at the Brooks School this year.
A No. 3 white jersey hung from a chair on the visitors’ sideline Friday night in honor of a fallen former teammate.
With his third touchdown of the night, a 33-yard reception from Michael Wolfendale, Jackson Conners-McCarthy helped power Brooks past previously-unbeaten Rivers, 34-28, in an ISL-7 matchup.
On Feb. 27, Preston Settles, a 15-year-old freshman at Brooks from Newton, died after collapsing at the school gymnasium earlier in the month.
“What happened to Preston, that was our brother,” Conners-McCarthy said. “Everybody loved Preston, I’m just happy that we are doing what we are doing for him. I love that kid to death.”
Brooks (4-1, 4-0 ISL 9) and Rivers (4-1, 3-1 ISL 9) entered the matchup with sole possession of the division lead on the line. But this fall, the team is playing for something larger.
“He was a huge member of this team,” said Brooks coach Patrick Foley of Settles. “These guys have been playing for him all year long. They Chant PS3 at the end and holding three fingers up after every time they score a touchdown. They really are doing everything they can for him.”
Brooks took advantage of four Red Wing turnovers, two of which came in the red zone.
“We know they are an explosive offense,” Foley said. “A couple of those, they drove deep into the red zone, so being able to get off the field in those situations without giving up points was huge.”
The second red zone turnover came late in the third quarter. Senior free safety Rayden Waweru was able to pick off quarterback Max Stevelman at the Brooks’ 5-yard line.
The ensuing drive ended 95 yards later when Wolfendale found Conners-McCarthy on a slant pattern that resulted in the 33-yard score for a 34-20 margin with 9:13 left in the fourth quarter.
“On the slant it was a little bit run after catch,” Conners-McCarthy said. “But I just have full confidence in my teammates to help make the play for me.”
Rivers responded with a drive of its own that ended with Stevelman finding junior wide receiver Jeremy Kiefer for a 6-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 34-28 after a conversion.
“It’s more than just football,” Brooks junior running back Darnell Pierre said. “We are doing everything off the field for [Settles], we are living our life for him. It’s not just football.”
Friday’s high school football coverage:
- Central Catholic takes care of business, presents coach Chuck Adamopoulos with his 200th career victory
- Duxbury gets back to the basics in Patriot League win over Hingham
- In a clash of ISL-7 unbeatens, St. Sebastian’s turns opportunistic for road win at Lawrence Academy
- North Attleborough puts its best foot forward in tight win over Taunton
- Roundup: Nick Yanchuk helps Bishop Feehan rally late to hand No. 17 Bishop Fenwick its first loss of season