It's no secret: if you want to beat the Bismarck High football team, you're going to have to find a way to slow down senior running back Jaxon Ford.
As the Demons prepare for their first round playoff game against West Fargo, we put Ford into this week's Sports Spotlight.
Friday nights everyone in the stadium knows exactly where Ford is at all times, but the Demons tailback doesn't actively search for the spotlight.
"You would never get that out of him as far as how good he is. He's going to talk about his teammates, he's going to talk about his teammates around him. He's a gem. He's a kid that he gets it. It's a team sport, it's not about him and he's the first one to tell you that," said Mark Gibson, Demons' head coach.
Ford might be smaller than the normal tailback, but that has not stopped the Demon from torching defenses.
"A lot of the lineman like to give me crap cause I'm so small, but they're like my big brothers so they take care of me," Ford said.
"He reminds a lot of the Weston Dressler back in the day when Weston was really small and people said he couldn't do it because of his size. Those kids are special and that's something that comes from home. That's nothing we coach or instill in kids," Gibson said.
Despite all his on-field accomplishments, it's something else you can't coach that impresses his coach the most.
"You know, he's friends with our special needs kids in school and to see him off the field the way he is and how he interacts with different kids is truly amazing. It's really inspirational for a guy my age to see a kid his age who does things just for, not just for himself, but for the people around him," Gibson said.
"I guess I just take everyone as my friend. I guess I try not to have anyone on my bad side and I try to be friendly with everyone," Ford said.
That attitude has made Ford an important leader in the Demons locker room.
"Yeah, it's definitely something different," Ford said. "I don't try and do anything too much, I just try and lead by example and play the way I'm capable of and hopefully the guys come around me."
"He's stepped forward and become a leader for us and he knows he has to do that. And I would challenge anyone on this team to play to his type of mentality and his type of what he brings to a game. He never quits. If we got 11 guys that play like him on both sides of the ball we'll be in good shape," Gibson said.
The Demons hope Friday can be another 300-plus yard outing for Ford, but know either way, they'll get the best he has to offer. The Oct. 30 contest begins at 7 p.m. CST in West Fargo.