Rashan came up hard to make the tackle. Too hard, in retrospect. He separated his left shoulder.
"I didn't know what happened at first," Rasheed said. "I saw him hurtin' and said, 'C'mon, bro. You'll be good.' He was saying, 'I can't do it. I can't do it.'
"I thought maybe he'd just have to sit out for a couple plays. Then I saw him taking off his shoulder pads. That crushed me. I felt drained. Took me down, at first . . . But it also gave me motivation. He was saying, 'Don't worry about me. Come through for me. Step up, man.' I felt like we all felt. Do this for 'Shan."
As D-V indeed triumphed, 14-8, earning a date with mighty Imhotep Charter, a 41-8 winner over Communications Tech, in Saturday's 6 o'clock final (same site), Rasheed Cade enjoyed numerous special moments.
A 15-yard touchdown catch. A conversion snag. Two interceptions. And several breakups, with the last one preventing what could have been an all-time disaster to follow a blunder.
With 11 seconds left, D-V had the ball on its 44. The snap sailed far over the head of punter Nate Barnes (also Rashan's QB replacement) and by the time he gained possession - the thought of kicking the ball through the end zone for an intentional safety did not enter his mind - he was almost sniffing the goal line.
Barnes was tackled at the 14 with 1.1 remaining and PC set up for one last chance. Dolo tossed the ball to the left corner. Cade and Barnes were closer than any receiver, and they combined to knock it harmlessly to the turf.
Next, they were being engulfed by delirious teammates.
"I was worried before that last play because Prep Charter is a good team," Cade said. "They have just as many athletes as we do . . . Crunch time. Decision time. Just had to step it up even more."
Prep Charter posted the game's first TD, 2:19 into the second quarter, on a 4-yard run by Jovan Matthews (19-92). D-V responded twice before halftime on Cade's catch and a 21-yard interception return by William Turner (pass batted upward by Solomon Fitchett).
Of his scoring play, Cade said: "I knew [the defender] would go for the inside fake, so I did that and broke for the outside. He tried to hold me, but I still got past him and made the catch."
Cade ended each of PC's last four possessions thanks to two apiece of picks and deflections. By then, his twin was being examined at Chestnut Hill Hospital.
"It was strange not having him out here with me," Rasheed said. "But like he said, I had to play for two."
The first of his crucial breakups came on a slant play from the 6, as PC tried to target the 6-2 John Graham. Afterward, Cade was carried off the field - literally, like a sack of potatoes - by coach Shelton Farmer.
"I went to open my hip to make the play, and I felt something pull," Cade said. "I had to take a couple plays off, then I knew I had to get back out there. My team needed me."
When Rasheed was asked to detail what sets him apart from Rashan, he laughed while noting, "We've got different girlfriends."
"We pretty much like the same things," he said. "On the field, he keeps his composure better than I do. He's more aggressive. He's better at coming up for hits. I'm better at covering guys."
The Cades live on Berkley Street, right off Pulaski Avenue, not far from Wayne Junction, and hope to attend college together. Shippensburg and East Stroudsburg, for now, are looking like possible destinations.
"I had to do this for 'Shan," Rasheed said. "I know he would have done it for me."
Contact Ted Silary at firstname.lastname@example.org.