Brown was honored with a moment of silence before the game. After the win, the game ball went to Melinda Simms, a friend of the family who accepted the gift for Brown’s mother, Dannielle.
“Losing a child, regardless of how old or how young he or she is, it is something that you will never, ever accept,” Simms said. “. . . It was a great honor to receive the text message to have me and my son accept the ball in her absence.”
Brown played for DeMatha from 2012 to 2015, meaning he was present for the first three Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles in the Stags’ four-peat from 2013 to 2016. For Terrance Davis, an offensive lineman at Maryland who played with Brown at DeMatha, holding up the WCAC trophy was his enduring memory of his friend.
“Jaylen was probably one of the funniest guys on the team,” said Davis, who attended Friday’s contest and spoke to the DeMatha squad after the game. “He worked really hard. He was one of the best linebackers I ever had a chance to play with. He was a winner. He loved the team. He was one of our brothers, and I’m really sad to see him go.”
DeMatha (5-1) exited the locker room stoically Friday evening, walking double-file onto the field in relative silence.
Its offense mimicked the quiet start, turning the ball over with a fumble on its second play.
The Stags’ second drive, in contrast, was a 10-play march that ended with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Malakai Anthony to Kam’Ryn Thomas.
The second quarter started with Anthony throwing a screen pass to running back MarShawn Lloyd on third and six. The South Carolina commit gashed the Friendship defense, breaking through three tackles for a 51-yard touchdown.
No. 13 Friendship (3-3) never crossed the DeMatha 30-yard line. The Knights fell to No. 4 Good Counsel last week and to Pennsylvania powerhouse North Allegheny in Week 1.
The Knights were forced to play the majority of the game without punter/kicker/wide receiver Brandon Chase, who was leveled in the second quarter while trying to pick up a first down on a broken punt play. Chase remained motionless on the ground for a few moments before he was helped off the field.
Friendship Coach Mike Hunter said Chase was coherent on the sideline but was taken to the hospital as a precaution.