View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 1/13

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: January 13, 2015 - 7:00 AM

Even though the high school season has been over form more than a month there has been a lot of interesting football played in the last few weeks.

Watching the college bowl season and the NFL playoffs has reinforced some thinking I have had for a long time. Football is won and lost at the line of scrimmage.

Monday night in Texas Ohio State ran past Oregon 42-20 to claim the National Championship in Division I. As that game unfolded it became clear that Ohio State had the better line on both sides of the ball. The Buckeyes slowly took the game over and allowed tailback Ezekiel Elliott to take over the game. The John Burroughs grad finished with 246 yards and four touchdowns on 36 carries.

It was a pretty impressive night for the sophomore who just two years ago ran for 234 yards and two TDs in the Missouri Class 3 title game. You could tell he was a special talent in that game as he not only was a dominant runner but he led his team in receiving and had nearly 100 yards in return yardage.

With a performance like that it would be easy to misremember that Burroughs won the game. In fact it was Maryville that won the game and outside of Elliott’s performance it was really quite easy. The Spoofhounds never trailed on their way to a 35-22 win. In that game it was Maryville’s offensive line that dominated. The Spoofhounds ran for 436 yards and five touchdowns as they nailed down their second straight undefeated Class 3 title.

I like Oregon. I think they are extremely talented and well coached. When their offense gets going it is fun to watch. While they can dominate on the offensive side of the ball it was their defense that got handled. I don’t know about you but there is nothing more demoralizing for a football team than watching a team runs on your defense. It’s one thing to give up a big pass play but when a team runs right at you, you know it’s coming and you can’t stop it, makes playing the game mentally that much tougher.

Football is a funny game. It changes constantly. Teams are always finding new schemes or simply bringing back old ones to try to gain an edge. All these changes and styles make for great games.

The one scheme that never stops working is on the line with the big boys. Win there and you win the game.