NEW MIDDLETOWN - William Houst dominated from the first whistle all the way to the last.
As he did in practice, Houst dominated the line of scrimmage during the 33rd Annual Penn-Ohio Stateline Classic June 29 at Springfield High School.
Houst was not only a force to be reckoned with on defense, but he also played a key role offensively in the game. With the score knotted at 7 in the third quarter, Houst bulldozed way into the end zone from the 3 giving Ohio a 13-7 lead.
Steubenville’s William Houst (49) is congratualted by?South Range’s Dan Good after Houst scored a touchdown in the Penn-Ohio Game June 29 at Springfield. (Photo by Aaron Petchal)
"I was just excited," Houst said. "I got to do a little celebration dance."
In the end, the Buckeyes pulled away for a 19-7 victory.
"It feels good to get the win and to bring it back to Ohio," Houst said. "It feels good."
Throughout the game, Houst was able to get to the ball carriers and quarterbacks at will. For his fine performance, Houst was named one of Ohio's Linemen of the Game.
"It means a lot because it means I showed out for the Ohio D-line and I did what I had to do for my team," Houst said about winning the award.
Hitting is a big of Houst's game. Houst packs quite a wallop whether he is delivering a big block or a crushing hit. Houst said there is not a difference between playing offense and defense.
"No. If I play offense, I like to block. If I play defense, I like to hit," he said.
The game was delayed 90 minutes due to lightning, but once the game got started the players competiveness came out of them.
"Yeah, it got a little tense before half and after half because we were out-physicaling them," Houst said. "It's cool. It's just a friendly all-star game."
"It was all right. I don't know. It kind of changed when we got the momentum. That's all."
All-star games are meant to be fun, but some players treat them like they do any other game. Houst was intense all throughout practice, and he played as he practiced.
"I keep the same intensity always," Houst said. "You can't just change for a different game. You have got to play the same all year long."
For Houst, like all of the Buckeye players and coaches, beating Pennsylvania was the main objective heading into the two weeks of practice and the game.
"It means a lot to get the win back for Ohio for the 2012 season," Houst said.
In the end, Ohio's will to win paid off in a big way.
"They had the same discipline," Houst said. "We just fought harder than they did."
Houst's dominance was expected. Houst was a real force the past few seasons at Steubenville.
"I have lot of memories, a lot of memories," Houst said about his time at Big Red. "It's all right. The way we went out was kind of tough, but it is all right. I had fun."
Steubenville's season came to a close at the hands of Youngstown Cardinal Mooney in the Ohio Division III Region 11 Semifinals. The Cardinals defeated Big Red 24-22, in controversial fashion on a field goal in the waning seconds of the game Nov. 11 at Canton Fawcett Stadium.
With the loss, Big Red ended the season at 11-1, while Cardinal Mooney went on to win the state title.
Big Red has established itself as the premier team in the tri-state area. Houst said that is "because our coaches are strict on us, and we do what we are supposed to do."
With the Penn-Ohio game complete, Houst will now turn his attention to getting ready for the 67th Annual OVAC/Rudy Mumley All-Star Football Game set for 7:15 p.m. July 29 down at Wheeling Island Stadium.
"Yes, I will be there," Houst said.
Like with Pennsylvania, Ohio has a good rivalry with West Virginia. Houst said he expects the same type of atmosphere and the same type of game July 29.
"Yeah, there will be more people too," he said. "Hopefully, I can do some more celebration dances."
Houst said he thinks Ohio's rivalry with the two states is the same.
"I think it is about the same," he said. "I think it is more PA, because PA has won more times than West Virginia has."
Though it will be for some, the OVAC All-Star Game will not be the final football game for Houst. Houst has signed to continue his academic and athletic careers at the University of Akron.
"Yeah, I'm going to Akron," Houst said. "I'm going to play football up there."
While he can play both ways well, Houst will begin his career with the Zips as a defensive player.
"I'm going to play defensive end, just defense for the first year," Houst said. "I'll probably try to play both as the years go on, but I will be playing more defense at the beginning."
Houst will be joined at Akron by high school teammate Marcus Prather. Prather, Big Red's starting quarterback for the 2011 season, will be attending Akron as a preferred walk on.
"Yes, he is, and one of the dudes from my team is going to Akron too," Houst said.
Houst said it is going to be nice for him to be able to see a few familiar faces when he gets to Akron.
"Yeah, you get to know people now and see how they play and you will have a team bond when you go to Akron," he said.