Hattiesburg’s offensive philosophy is simple, according to senior wide receiver Darius Ruffin.
“Get the ball and score as quick as we can.”
The Tigers and their fans call it “Quick-6”. Whatever you wanna call it, those fireworks were on full display last Friday night.
Hattiesburg’s offense had a grand total of 27 plays from scrimmage against Pearl River Central. The Blue Devils even dominated time of possession in the first half, holding the ball for over 21 minutes. Despite all of that, the Tigers led 27-7 at halftime and outscored the Blue Devils 33-0 in the second half en route to a 60-7 win and a 7-0 start to the 2018 season.
“When you plays teams like [Pearl River Central], part of their game plan is to try and dominate the time of possession and keep your offense off the field,” explained Hattiesburg coach Tony Vance. “Our mindset going into games like that is, ‘Let’s score as quickly as we can to try and get as many points as we can’, because we know our possessions are going to be limited.”
Vance’s Tigers and specifically Darius Ruffin made those possessions count Friday night. Catching passes from star quarterback Jarod Conner, Ruffin finished with five receptions for a whopping 249 yards and four touchdowns.
Ruffin is our Week 8 Sports601 Hattiesburg Player of the Week.
Vance says Ruffin’s first score of the night was one of the best catches he’s ever seen in all his years of coaching high school football. He caught a ball low in stride and did the rest with his feet, cruising 84 yards for a Tiger touchdown.
“The first catch was kinda low, but I just wanted to go score and put the first points on the board,” said Ruffin, who added that his stat sheet is and will always be an afterthought.
“I just wanted to help my team out. Whatever I can do to help the team each week, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
Ruffin carries that selflessness with the surest of hands, but he’s still viewed by Vance and many others as one of the most underrated wide receivers in the state. Numerous junior colleges have pulled the trigger and offered him scholarships, but they’re still waiting on bigger schools to take notice.
“There’s still some schools missing out,” added Vance. “I’ve had coaches come in and shown them film. What do you not like? I don’t know. I guess that’s why I coach high school level.”
Ruffin isn’t too worried, though.
“I do feel underrated, but that’s not my focus,” said Ruffin. “My focus is helping the team. I just put my faith in God, and wherever he’s going to take me in my path in life, that’s what’s going to happen.”
Ruffin and the Tigers (7-0) will be back in action Friday night at D.I. Patrick Stadium against Wayne County (5-2).