CHATSWORTH, Calif. — The offensive line is the engine of any football team, but rarely do they get the credit they deserve.
There is plenty of work to do in the trenches, but the highlights rarely go to the offensive line, but Sierra Canyon junior tackles Kenji Swanson and Michael Wooten know that the offensive line is where the battle is won.
“I think that is the case in most situations, but I think with this o-line we have at Sierra Canyon we’ll definitely get noticed and get a lot of love because we can do some special things with this offensive line,” Swanson said.
It might just look like brute strength to the untrained eye, but there is a scheme to each play and detailed footwork that dictates how these huge athletes can move as powerfully, precisely, and as fast as possible.
It is probably no surprise that size is a huge factor. Both Swanson and Wooten are 6-foot-7, and over 300 pounds. Sometimes the only person that can take them on is, well, each other.
“It helps a lot. It makes us a good team. We have size, move people out of the way,” Wooten said.
It does not hurt that the Trailblazers’ Head Coach Jon Ellinghouse himself was a college offensive lineman.
“House” is now in his 14th year at the school that has been at the helm of the Sierra Canyon program since its inception and builds his offense around the line. It is hard to argue with his results, five division championships and two state titles.
“When our offensive line plays at a high level and is mean and nasty up front, that’s when we get things done,” Ellinghouse said.
And as they play this unique season the goal remains the same, impose their will and clear the way for offensive to go to work.
“If the quarterback can’t get time to throw the ball, you can’t score. If the running back cannot find holes to run through, we cannot score. And so essentially if you don’t have a good offensive line, you can’t win a game,” Swanson said.
Sierra Canyon takes on reigning national champions St. John Bosco on March 13.