FOXBOROUGH — “Bring your band,” the King Philip coaches told Robert Jarest earlier in the day as KP prepared to defend its Division 2 state title against Lincoln-Sudbury under the lights at Gillette Stadium on Friday night.
And naturally, the sophomore backup quarterback didn’t bring the play band, on the night he ended up needing it most, after sturdy starter Brendan Lydon left the game with a leg injury midway through the opening drive of the second half.
“I was not ready at all,” Jarest admitted about getting the call, and his first snap under center — a botched, but recovered snap – was perhaps testament to that.
But seven plays later, Jarest turned one of the game’s most pivotal plays — play No. 27 on the band, “I Right Quick 222”, a three-step drop and a deep heave down the left sideline to Thomas Madden for a 37-yard completion that set up Shane Frommer’s game-tying rush on the next play.
Jarest’s heavy arm underscored a night in which unsung heroes from all three phases of the game propelled KP to its second straight state title and active state-best 25th consecutive win.
“That’s KP football. It’s ugly to look at,” head coach Brian Lee. “It’s just, you’re like . . . how? What happened? How did you win? And it’s because of the heart, and the belief, and it goes a long way.”
Sophomore kicker Cole Baker garnered his fair share of attention after his heroics in the 11th hour, his 31-yard go-ahead field goal making up for his 39-yard miss earlier in the game. But the play wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for a defensive call, “Bubba Blitz” — designed for the affably nicknamed junior linebacker Jack Webster — that gave KP the ball back inside the L-S 30.
In one fell swoop, all those nagging hamstring injuries since Week 1 became worth it for Webster, who came clean off the blind side on second and 18 and strip-sacked Braden O’Connell from behind.
“I saw the ball at the last second and I just swiped it. I knew we had to get a turnover,” Webster said. “I’m speechless, I don’t know what to say, it was awesome.”
Lee couldn’t be prouder of his unheralded linebacker.
“He so tough, isn’t that kid so tough?” Lee exclaimed. “Bag of bones out there, hopping on one leg. We’re limping into this game. Our guys play three ways, they give so much. It’s nice to see us persevere.”