For a team putting up 49 points a game, Hattiesburg High isn’t lacking in offensive talent. The team features dual threat quarterback Jarod Conner and star running back Fabian Franklin.
There’s also D’Andre Humbles and Drexlan Allen. Then you have steady wideout Darius Ruffin. Let him tell you about the Tigers’ firepower.
“I mean it’s like you take one thing away and then we just go to the other,” Ruffin said. “You might stack the box to stop the run then we’re going to air it out. We’re pretty unstoppable.”
Unstoppable is the perfect word to describe the Tigers in 2017. They haven’t lost a game all season.
Ruffin helped the Tigers advance to the Class 5A south state championship last Friday with 8 catches for 141 yards.
“It was really a pretty good experience,” Ruffin said. “Coming in the second round we knew what we needed to do. We needed to be 1-0. All I wanted to do was help my team. I felt like that’s what I did.”
Tigers coach Tony Vance said Ruffin brings a full effort on game days and during the practice grind.
“We never have to worry about him not practicing the right way,” Vance said. “Very deserving. Happy for him to receive the award. He’s been a big part of our offense all year long and he’ll continue to be moving forward. Just happy for him. To see his hard work pay off and be recognized, (I’m) extremely happy for him.”
Along with Humbles, Ruffin has provided a major spark in the Tigers’ passing game. He leads the team in receptions with 51 to go along with 886 yards and four touchdowns.
“He’s one of those guys (that’s) not going to run by you,” Vance said. “He’s not a 4.4 40 guy but he’s a great possession receiver and he can make some great catches in tough spots. He does a great job breaking tackles and running with the football (and) yards after catch.”
As a junior with a major role on a strong Hattiesburg squad, Ruffin is appreciating every moment.
“It feels great,” he said. “It’s a really good to experience because a lot of kids don’t get this chance to go through this. It’s real exciting.”
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved.