Braden Ruth knew this season was his last chance at a state title.
So after a Week 4 knee injury, when he was offered the possibility of surgery or playing through the pain, the Davis senior chose the pain.
“The first week wasn't too bad, but then it started catching a little bit,” Ruth said. “They told me I could have surgery, or just power through it. I decided to power through it.”
Power is the name of the game for the 6-foot, 245-pound fullback/linebacker. Everything he does is full steam ahead, whether he's carrying the ball, blocking or blowing up ball-carriers.
Though he noticed the knee injury slowing him down a little over the final 11 games, no one else could tell much difference.
Having been to the Class 2A finals twice and lost, Ruth wanted a gold ball before his Davis days were done.
He rushed for 1,642 yards and 32 touchdowns, and had 139 tackles as a senior — no tackle bigger than his last one, stuffing a Millwood run play on fourth-and-1 to clinch the Class 2A title for the Wolves.
Ruth also rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns in the finals, Davis' fifth title overall, and first since 1995.
“It's the highlight of my life to this point,” Ruth said. “After losing twice, then going and winning, you just can't explain the feeling.”
Outsiders have been telling the Wolves it wasn't possible to win a title running the wishbone anymore, so the players enjoyed proving them wrong.
“We've been running it since we were little, so we know it like everybody else knows their shotgun or whatever,” Ruth said. “To know how confusing it is for the defense, it's fun. To us, it's just another day, and to them, it's like a bird's nest.”
Ruth's college future obviously isn't in the wishbone, but he's still being targeted as a fullback. Tulsa, North Texas, Memphis and UTEP have all shown interest.