HURLEY, MS (WLOX) - In the college ranks...LSU leans heavily on the running ability of Heisman Trophy candidate Leonard Fournette.
In the high school football ranks here in South Mississippi, East Central relies heavily on running back A.J. Davis. He's the WLOX Player of the Week.
Davis is a 5-foot-10, 179 pound senior running back. In the Hornets 34-21 win over Moss Point, quarterback Glenn Evans handed the ball off to Davis 51 times. He responded by rushing for 317 yards and five touchdowns.
Davis said, "I think it's not all about me. I think it's about the offensive line. They do all the dirty work and they open holes and I just run through them as hard as I can."
Davis has 13-hundred-15 yards rushing on the season and has cracked the end zone 12 times.
Head coach Seth Smith said, "His toughness in my opinion is what separates him from others. Any kid who can carry the ball 49-50 times is extremely tough and he showed that Friday night."
East Central head coach Seth Smith is vocal in practice and he knows how to motivate his players.
Last season the Hornets cracked the playoffs for the first time in 12 years.
This season, the third under Smith, East Central has 4 wins and 2 losses, 1 and 0 in the Region 8-4A ranks.
"We've come a long way, but we realize we've still got a lot of work to put in, "stated Smith. "Got to keep working hard and keep striving to get better."
Defensively the Hornets swarm to the football. 6-2, 241 pound senior defensive lineman Austin Cirlot says their motor doesn't stop.
Cirlot said, "We're effort driven and our goal in every game is not let the other team score more than 14 points. We don't want them to score a single touchdown, but if they happen to do, we want to hold them to at least 14."
East Central travels to Pass Christian in a Region 8-4A Showdown on Friday. The Hornets-Pirates game will be one of the featured games on the Friday Night Football Showdown.