KINGSFORD, Mich. (WJMN) – There is one word that perfectly describes Elizin Rouse’s playing style.

“Violent,” said Kingsford head coach Mark Novara.

At 6’0″ and 215 pounds, Rouse has the prototypical size you look for in an every-down back and is a tone-setter for the Flivvers with his physical style of play.

“Offensively, he’s been the key for us,” said Novara. “He’s one of those guys, he’s a big tailback that runs down hill at you and we’re excited to have him on our team for sure.”

Last season as a junior, Rouse competed for carries in a loaded backfield while showing flashes in a limited role.

Entering his senior year as the featured back, Rouse is playing with a contagious confidence.

“I really think that a state championship in wrestling really gave him a lot of confidence,” said Novara. “He was a nice player for us last year and played really good defensively for us. We had Cole Myllyla with us and Nic Nora who was a more focal point of our offense but he’s really grown in the last year and that state championship got his confidence level way up.”

“I was ranked pretty low,” said Rouse. “I think I was ranked like 11th or something. I wasn’t predicted to make it anywhere near first. Also, a lot of people from the U.P. didn’t think I would make it that far. So, it felt good showing that I am that good. I’m more comfortable with making moves, cutting back, and deciding if something could or could not be there. I have confidence in myself that I can still cutback and make it.”

In a week 3 matchup against Gladstone, Rouse put his whole skill set on full display.

Rouse led the Flivvers offense with 28 carries for 202 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Kingsford (3-0) defeated the Braves (2-1), 35-12.

“He plays every play as hard as he can,” said Novara. “He’s got some speed, too. It’s not like he’s just a one-dimensional, I’m going to run you over type of back. He can go around you and do some other things. He’s definitely one of those special ones.

Novara says having a player of Rouse’s caliber gives the Flivvers options and keeps opposing defenses guessing.

“It gets you into situations, maybe like a 2nd and 8 or a 3rd and 6, and you don’t have to throw it,” said Novara. “You can still hand the ball of and make sure he’s doing his thing and that’s been helpful for us because we may be in a passing situation but we don’t have to pass because we got him in the backfield.

Like any good leader would, Rouse credits his lineman up front for his success running the ball.

“Shout out to my offensive line,” said Rouse. “They kept their gaps and kept their blocks on. It’s not possible with the guy’s up front.”

“Obviously, if we’re not taking care of business up front, if we’re not blocking at the wide-out spot or the quarterback is not making good reads, it’s not going to be as good,” said Novara. “We’re really happy with our offensive line play this year. We got a few veterans up there. Garrett Veale, Grayson Palmer, and Noah Johnson are really setting the tone for helping him out.”

Rouse’s impact can also be felt on the defensive side of the football.

“I think last week against Gladstone, they ran a screen pass away from him and he tracked the guys down all away across the field and got him for like a two yard gain, said Novara. That’s the intense, non- stop play that he does. Our defense has been really good for the whole season. We got a lot of guys back from last year and have some young kids that are coming up and are playing well. I think last week against Gladstone, they ran a screen pass away from him and he tracked the guys down all away across the field and got him for like a two yard gain. That’s the intense, non-stop play that he does.”

“It’s nice to go out there and hit someone,” said Rouse. “To show them that you are better than them play after play.”

Rouse and the rest of the Flivvers will look to remain undefeated when they travel to Negaunee on Friday.