Ken Brinkman, head coach of the North Harford (Pylesville, Md.) varsity football team, has been named Ravens High School Coach of the Week for the fifth week of the 2010 NFL season. Presented by Toyota, this is the 14th year of the Ravens' award program.
Brinkman led the Hawks to a thrilling come-from-behind victory over undefeated Fallston (Fallston, Md.) on Friday (10/8) night, when, down by one with roughly 40 seconds remaining, he opted to attempt the go-ahead two-point conversion.
His decision proved to be a risk worth taking, as his team – now a perfect 6-0 – held on to defeat the county rival Cougars 36-35.
"It was just amazing," Brinkman admitted. "We were on the road, so it was an even bigger win for us. It's a big rivalry because a lot of these kids grew up playing on the same rec league teams."
Down 21-7 during the first half, North Harford rallied to score 21 consecutive points, taking a 28-21 lead in the third quarter. But Fallston answered with a 14-point rally of its own. With just 2:37 remaining, the Hawks found themselves at a 35-28 disadvantage.
Brinkman saw no need to panic.
On his team's next possession – with only 47 seconds on the clock – senior RB Brandon Bayer found the end zone from four yards out, putting North Harford within one. Rather than knotting the game with an extra point and relying on his defense to force overtime, Brinkman made the gutsy call to go for the win.
"The way Brandon had been running the ball in the second half – he was just running with a mission," Brinkman stated. "I thought I could put it on his shoulders."
Bayer, who ended the game with 127 rushing yards and three touchdowns, solidified his coach's decision, as he ran the ball in for the successful conversion and put the team up 36-35.
North Harford's defense then took the field with 40 seconds remaining. Refusing to relinquish the lead, senior DB Nate Brockmeyer intercepted QB Grant Kelly on Fallston's first play to secure the win.
Each week during the season, the Ravens honor a high school coach who has made a significant impact on his athletes. Each winner will be present at the Ravens vs. Saints home game on Dec. 19 for the naming of the Ravens' High School Coach of the Year.
Each weekly recipient receives:
- A $2,000 donation to the school's football program
- An award certificate signed by Ravens head coach John Harbaugh
- A specially-designed Coach of the Week hat
2010 Ravens HS Coach of the Week Recipients:
Week 1 Steve Turnbaugh Hereford
Week 2 Biff Poggi Gilman
Week 3 Howard Coaching Staff Howard
Week 4 Kyle Schmitt Atholton
Week 5 Ken Brinkman North Harford