Davin Rider

Kilgore running back/safety Davin Rider (9, right) has been announced as the Class 4A winner of the Built Ford Tough Player of the Week.

It took a few performances to get noticed, but Davin Rider finally did what most people around Kilgore expected: he was named the Built Ford Tough Player of the Week for Class 4A, like in the state of Texas.

The senior had a 319-yard, five-touchdown game in a 65-58 win over Lindale last week, helping Kilgore wrap up the District 9-4A, Division I championship. He also had two interceptions on defense, as well, his most significant playing time on defense so far this season.

In the announcement of Rider – and the other players, for other classifications – as the BFT players of the week was this statement from Ford Motor Company: “Ford Motor Company and your Texas Ford Dealers are proud to announce the six winners of the 2021 Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Player of the Week trophy for week 11! These outstanding Built Ford Tough gridiron heroes are honored for their performance on the field and their leadership off the field. All weekly winners will ultimately be eligible to become Built Ford Tough Texas High School Football Players of the Year.”

The other winners for the week were Ashton Dubose, a quarterback and junior at Brennan High School, who won the 6A award; Anthony Hill Jr., a linebacker and a junior at Billy Ryan High, who won the award for 5A; in 3A, it was Tanner Vaughn, a quarterback and junior at Scurry-Rosser, who took the award; in 2A; sophomore quarterback Jax Watts of Roscoe Collegiate High was the winner; and Joshua Rico, a quarterback and a junior at Newman International Academy of Cedar Hill in the private school category.

Rider becomes the second Kilgore Bulldog in as many years to win the Built Ford Tough 4A award; Tray Epps did so last year with a 401-yard, six-touchdown game at Chapel Hill.

The winners each get an award, which looks rather like a Heisman Trophy.

In the announcement for all the winners, there is a brief statement about the game in which they secured their awards. Here is what was written about Rider.

“Class 4A: Davin Rider, Senior, RB/DB, Kilgore High School

Mascot: Bulldogs

Opponent: Lindale High School

Davin Rider was part of Kilgore’s team last season that lost twice to Lindale – once in the regular season and again four rounds deep in the playoffs. The Bulldog senior was determined a third straight loss wasn’t going to happen.

Rider stepped up his game on both sides of the ball in a 65-58 win, carrying 24 times for 319 yards and five touchdowns to go along with 12 tackles and two interceptions on the defensive side in a game that decided the District 9-4A Division I championship and sent Kilgore into the postseason with a 9-1 record.

“Davin is an excellent student, young man and football player,” Kilgore coach Clint Fuller said. “I am so proud of him and all of his teammates that have helped Davin and our team accomplish so much this season. Davin embodies the standards of Kilgore football. He is a selfless, tough leader with great character.”

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