A high school senior suiting up for a playoff game is bound to get a little emotional. For 18-year-old Alex Brown, a recent playoff game came with even more emotions than usual. His mother had died after a 14-year battle with breast cancer just the day before. He took the field to honor her memory, scoring eight touchdowns in the process.
The day his mother Michelle died, Brown – a senior quarterback for Red Bank Catholic in New Jersey – shared a picture of the two of them together, with him in a football uniform. The loving tribute said, “Today I lost my best friend, my teacher, and my mother. My mom had been battling breast cancer that had spread throughout her body for 14 years, she was never supposed to make it this long, but through love and her insane strength she fought. I love you mama, Rest In Peace.”
Today I lost my best friend, my teacher, and my mother. My mom had been battling breast cancer that had spread throughout her body for 14 years, she was never supposed to make it this long, but through love and her insane strength she fought. I love you mama, Rest In Peace ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/KPmLUSQnxz
— Alex Brown QB (@AlexRayBrown2) November 12, 2021
Despite the heartache he was experiencing, Brown said there was never any question that he was going to take the field the next day in a playoff match against Morris Catholic. He told his dad he was playing for his mom, and he wanted to make it a special memory.
The special moments began early, as he got off to a hot start in the first quarter with a 52-yard touchdown pass. After rushing for another touchdown, he took a knee to pray. Then he pointed skyward toward his mom.
He said, “When I scored that first touchdown I knew right away – she was always going to be watching over me. I looked to the sky and said thank you mama. I ran to my coaches and friends then looked at the crowd filled with my whole family screaming my name. It was an awesome experience.”
Yesterday I lost my amazing mother. Today I scored 8 touchdowns, thank you for watching over me mama❤️ pic.twitter.com/gdg28FVbsA
— Alex Brown QB (@AlexRayBrown2) November 13, 2021
He didn’t stop there. By the end of the game, he had thrown for five more touchdowns and rushed for another. His performance propelled the team to a 58-34 victory.
Brown’s father Ray says, “I’m not super religious, but I am spiritual. And I truly believe this whole game was scripted before it happened.”
The story of this game took hold throughout the internet, with the video of one touchdown racking up more than 600,000 views and close to 38,000 likes within a few days. One of the people it touched was Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who told Brown that he was proud of him. Brown has also received thousands of messages from others who have shared their experiences with him.
— Alex Brown QB (@AlexRayBrown2) November 14, 2021
Of course to him, it’s not all that surprising that a story involving his mother would be so inspiring.
He says, “If God has a plan, I don’t know why he chose my mom. I can’t explain that part of it. But the one thing I do understand is that she definitely has made me stronger and other people stronger, and she has inspired me and apparently the whole world.
“Dealing with something as terrible as this and fighting for as long as she did knowing she shouldn’t have made it this long, it’s the one thing that drives me to be great every day.”