Mount St. Joseph coach Blake Henry has been named Ravens' High School Football Coach of the Week after guiding the Gaels to an upset victory over Archbishop Spalding in Saturday’s MIAA A Conference quarterfinals.
The Gaels did not win an A Conference game during the regular season and entered the A Conference tournament as the No. 6 seed, but they beat the third-seeded Cavaliers, The Baltimore Sun’s No. 10 team at the time, 19-13.
“We altered the offense a little bit from the first time we played them. We really featured the running attack with some play-action passing. We threw the ball only seven times,” Henry said in a news release.
“In the conference, we played a couple of really close games that we could have easily won. Our coaching staff spoke to the team about playing with confidence last week, and we came into this game confident and played hard.”
The victory avenged a 29-11 loss to Spalding on Oct. 12 and boosted the Gaels’ overall record to 4-6. They advance to meet second-seeded Calvert Hall in the semifinals Saturday at 11:30 at Archbishop Spalding.
Last week, the Gaels' offensive line opened holes in Spalding’s defense all night, and running back Nevon McCrimmon was all but unstoppable, rushing for 176 yards and two touchdowns. The game-winning touchdown came on a pass play as quarterback Robert Busick hit Kyree Calli with a 14-yard scoring pass late in the third quarter.
After the game, Henry said, “Usually when you have some tough losses like we had, the team struggles and fades at the end of the year, but if you’ve been to our practices the last couple weeks, you saw a bunch of guys who were still hungry and still enthusiastic and still loving football and wanting to win and that was the difference for us.”
Henry is the eighth Ravens' Coach of the Week this fall, joining Dunbar’s Lawrence Smith, Milford Mill’s Reggie White, Francis Scott Key’s Dave Smith, C. Milton Wright’s Marc Alegi, Old Mill’s Chad McCormick, Atholton’s Kyle Schmitt and Mount Hebron’s Phil Zacharias.
This is the 16th year for the Ravens' Coach of the Week award. Each week a different high school coach will be honored with a $2,000 donation to his school’s football program, a certificate and a Coach of the Week hat. Each weekly winner also will be featured in a Comcast SportNet segment.
All of the winners will be invited to the Ravens' Dec. 16 home game against the Denver Broncos, where the Ravens' High School Coach of the Year will be named.