WILKES-BARRE — Every day, Michael Brown asks the Meyers coaching staff to let him put on pads.
Brown finally received his wish on Friday night.
The Mohawks’ manager and waterboy diagnosed with autism received the call during halftime of Meyers’ 60-0 shutout of Montrose. The 5 foot, 8 inch junior stepped out onto the Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium turf in a polished gold helmet and No. 99 jersey.
The rest likely evoked the largest ovation the Mohawks will receive in its final season in program history.
With his teammates running alongside him, Brown scampered left and raced downfield for a 61-yard touchdown in the final minutes of the game. Above him, his family cheered from the cheap seats — his Corlear Street backyard offered the best seats in the house.
“He had been dying to get in,” Meyers coach Jeff Labatch said. “He has been our manager and waterboy all summer. Every day he is asking, ‘Can I put the pads on?’ He is around the kids, and they love him.”
The Meyers players convinced Labatch to get Brown into the game. He talked it over with the Montrose staff prior to the play.
“(Brown) was asking the whole time,” Labatch said. “At halftime, we started getting him suited up. He was just ecstatic. All of the guys, they actually wanted it more. The rest of the team was asking me to put him in.”
As the seconds ticked away, a group of female Meyers student fans rushed onto the field to meet Brown with hugs and congratulations.
“They were going wild,” Labatch said. “It was fantastic. I am happy for him, happy for his family.”
Meyers scored on seven of the first 14 times it touched the pigskin.
Darrian Tyson had a pair of touchdowns for the Mohawks. He returned a punt 56 yards for the Mohawks’ second touchdown. Four minutes later, he caught a 27 yard pass from Talee Swinney to put Meyers ahead 26-0 with 3:25 left in the first quarter.
The Meyers defense held Montrose to 29 yards of offense.
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