PLAYER TO WATCH: Fairfield Central's Ruff runs for glory with Griffins

WINNSBORO, SC (WIS) - Fairfield Central running back Tony Ruff is the heart and soul of the Griffins' running game.

His numbers may not jump off the stat sheet, but his value to the team is immeasurable.

"Tony Ruff is a grown man in high school," said Fairfield Central head coach Demetrius Davis. "He comes to work every day, and when I say comes to work, he comes to practice every day. He's a leader on the field. He's a leader off the field. He's a tough, fast football player and he's the guy that, whether he has the ball in his hands or whether he's blocking, he's a guy that you can depend on."

In three years in Black and Gold, Ruff has run for 2,430 yards and 18 touchdowns. This year, Ruff has totaled 578 yards and four touchdowns. Ruff tries to model his game after a popular Dallas Cowboys running back.

"I'd say Ezekiel Elliott," Ruff said, "because I'm kind of quick like him and I just feel like I'm just fast."

Ruff loves to make plays for the Griffins. He believes his performance can create the offense and the defense.

"When the offensive line blocks and I get good yardage, it brings up the defense," Ruff said. "They get to doing what they're doing and the receivers get to catch balls. Everybody comes together as a team to work together."

"We kind of go as Tony goes," Davis said. "Whenever Tony can break a little run here or there, it's kind of a momentum thing for us. We put him out there hoping that he's a guy that's a home run hitter."

At this point, Ruff does not have any scholarship offers. Davis believes teams are missing out on a good player if that doesn't change.

"There's a lot of interest, but I'll be honest with you," Davis said. "If this guy's not playing college football, it'll be a tragedy. Somebody's going to give this guy a chance and he's going to be a great college football player."

Fairfield Central will host Newberry in the Jim Hudson Football Friday Game of the Week.

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