"As soon as I saw the quarterback look at (Peoples), I knew he was going to throw it my way. I just jumped in front of the ball," said Barrington, who finished the season with a team-best four picks, including one against state champion River Hill. "When I came off to the sideline, (Webb) came over and gave me a hug."

Webb stuck around to give a halftime speech, which is when most of the Long Reach players realized who he was.

The Lightning was facing its fifth loss in six games, and frustration was mounting. Webb knew his halftime speech wasn't going to be about Xs and Os.

"I've seen Tom Brady fumble. I've seen Joe Flacco and the best quarterbacks in the NFL turn the ball over," Hughes recalls Webb telling his players. "You need to support your quarterback."


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For Webb, the halftime speech was a chance to practice what he wants to do after his playing days are over.

"I love kids. I want them to grow up and be successful. I wanted to be able to give them some keys to life and anything they needed answers to try to make it easier on them," he said. "It’s a privilege to be able to give back.”

Less than 10 days later, Webb suffered a season-ending ACL tear in a game against Dallas.

After his surgery, Hughes brought Webb — who had moved to Finksburg — a football signed by the Long Reach team. Webb told Hughes he would find a place for it in his office. After all, the experience on Oct. 5 was one Webb wants to remember as well.

“When I was their age, we never had an NFL player come to one of our games. Just the look in their eyes when I popped up, it was great,” Webb said. "Just seeing myself again on the sidelines and remembering when I was in their shoes. It felt like that was my ball club."

Unlike Barrington's interception, Long Reach's season didn't end with a storybook finish. The Lightning went on to lose to Howard, 62-29, and finished the season 3-7 for its losing campaign in 15 years.

But 20 years from now, that won't really matter, if it's even remembered.

"An NFL player coming to our game," Barrington said. "That was pretty special."