Russ Meyers, head coach of the Southern (Harwood, Md.) varsity football team, has been named Ravens High School Coach of the Week for the ninth week of the 2010 NFL season. Presented by Toyota, this is the 14th year of the Ravens' award program.
Needing a win on Friday (11/5) night to clinch a playoff berth, Meyers led his Bulldogs to 30-19 victory over undefeated No.1 Arundel – a team that had won 28 consecutive Anne Arundel County regular-season games. Down by five at the start of the fourth quarter, Southern rallied to score 16 unanswered points and seal the upset.
"We tried to prepare our kids like it was a playoff game, really," Meyers said. "Really, the playoffs started this past week for us. I said, 'Listen, we can play with these guys. You just have to be willing to stand in there and go toe-to-toe with them.'"
But the Wildcats found themselves on their heels trying to handle the Bulldogs' stout backfield. All of Southern's 348 offensive yards came on the ground, as senior RB Davonte Burke led the charge with 168 yards rushing and two of the team's three offensive touchdowns.
Defensively, Meyers' squad forced five turnovers, including four interceptions off Arundel QB Jack Gordon. In the game's final minutes, junior DB Ranaldo Brown returned an interception 47 yards to the end zone, capping off the come-from-behind victory for Southern.
"I think this was a testament to the fact that these guys were not going to give up," Meyers stated. "As a coach, that's what you want to see – kids step in there and take advantage of the opportunities in front of them."
Now in his 17th year as head coach, Meyers took pride in the collective effort of his players, in addition to the modesty within the locker room.
"That's what makes you most proud," he said in reference to the post-game atmosphere. "Everyone stepped up, and no one individual took credit for it. It was a total team victory."
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
Week 6: Steve Luette - South Carroll
Week 7: Damon Bomar - Forest Park
Week 8: Ben Wright - Gov. Thomas Johnson
Week 9: Russ Meyers - Southern