LINDEN — Mayor Derek Armstead has announced the death of a high school football player resulting from brain injuries sustained during a game.

Xavier McClain, a 5'5" sophomore running back was injured during the Tigers' second game of the season on September 9 against Woodbridge, according to the mayor. In earlier posts on his Facebook page, Armstead said McClain had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was on life support.

"Together we prayed for a miracle and hoped for a different outcome," Armstead wrote. “With your prayers, Xavier fought a good fight. In the end, he succumbed to the injuries that he sustained a couple weeks ago.”

Armstead said he has known the teen's parents for years which makes the news that much harder to take in.

"My wife and I spend time in their home and our children played together. Tragically, their worst fear came true. Norm and Lisa are devastated. Children are supposed to outlive their parents, not the other way around. I asked that you continue to keep the family in your prayers," Armstead wrote.

McClain is the second Union County football player to die in September.

Rahway High School's Ali Muhammad died the week of September 5, according to a tweet by the team. The senior died in his sleep, according to a report by

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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