Charlie Weis doesn't usually let anyone else call plays on offense. He made an exception for 10-year-old Montana Mazurkiewicz. The Notre Dame coach met last week with Montana, who had been told by doctors weeks earlier that there was nothing more they could do to stop the spread of his inoperable brain tumor.
"He was a big Notre Dame fan in general, but football especially," said his mother, Cathy Mazurkiewicz.
Weis showed up at the Mazurkiewicz home in Mishawaka, just east of South Bend, Ind., and talked with Montana about his tumor and about Weis' s 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, who has global development delay, a rare disorder similar to autism. Weis said the meeting was touching.
"He told me about his love for Notre Dame football and how he just wanted to make it through this game this week," Weis said. "He just wanted to be able to live through this game because he knew he wasn't going to live very much longer."
Weis asked Montana if there was something he could do for him. He agreed to let Montana call the first play against Washington on Saturday. He called "pass right."
Montana never got to see the play. He died Friday at his home.
Weis heard about the death and called Mazurkiewicz on Friday night to assure her he would still call Montana's play.
When the Irish started on their own 1-yard-line following a fumble recovery, Mazurkiewicz wasn't sure Notre Dame would be able to throw a pass.
Weis called a play where quarterback Brady Quinn ran right and looked for tight end Anthony Fasano. Fasano caught the pass for a 13-yard gain.
"It's almost like Montana was willing him to beat that defender and take it to the house," Weis said.
-- From News Services