Toyota Line of Scrimmage

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 19, 2007

Toyota Line of Scrimmage co-host Markuss Rossi (right) interviews South Panola Tiger head manager Devon Sanford Wednesday afternoon. Sanford entertained the crew with his pregame dance numbers. The Panolian photo by Myra Bean

Toyota Line of Scrimmage comes to town to film Tigers

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. announces the first half of the second season of its mini-television show “The Line of Scrimmage” as well as results of a nationwide casting call with the selection of two new hosts.

Markuss Rossi (21), a former high school athlete from Wellsville, Kan., and Joey Thorsen (22), a University of Memphis student, will travel around the country in a 2007 Toyota Tundra profiling the high school football programs with the most intriguing traditions and biggest rivalries.

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Toyota’s “The Line of Scrimmage,” created by Saatchi & Saatchi LA, will continue to spotlight hometown traditions, rivalries and game highlights from around the nation, with original documentary-style episodes airing every  week. The show runs during the NBC Sunday Night Football Halftime Show, continuing weekly through Sunday, December 23.  

In addition, Sports Illustrated will feature “The Line of Scrimmage” customs and fanfare in 1/2 page ads that run alongside the magazine’s High School Football section and on

“In the second year of ‘The Line of Scrimmage,’ we wanted to expand on last year’s successful program by opening up the host and high school submissions to football fans across America.  We’re thrilled with the overwhelming response,” said Kim McCullough, corporate manager of marketing communications for Toyota. “Since the pros and college programs get most of the attention, Toyota is celebrating the compelling, often-overlooked football traditions and histories that happen at the high school level.”    

Saatchi & Saatchi LA creative director Erich Funke commented, “There’s a rich history underlying high school football in towns large and small all across America.  Our mission with this unique program is to bring this legacy of sportsmanship and community participation to a national audience in a way that’s fresh and authentic.”

About the Hosts

Co-host Markuss Rossi grew up the third of four brothers in the tiny farming community of Wellsville, Kan. His love for football was expressed early as he learned to play every position.  While attending a four-day music festival in Kansas City, Markuss and his friends encountered “The Line of Scrimmage” open casting call, and his buddies pushed him into the audition because of his knowledge and love of the sport.  

“I’ve always been camera shy, but at the audition I started talking about something I love, football, and it felt natural,” he said.

Co-host Joey Thorsen received his first video camera for his 16th birthday and it quickly became a permanent fixture everywhere he went, leading to his first broadcasting job in high school where he created video highlights of the school’s football games.  Currently a student at the University of Memphis pursuing degrees in philosophy and film/video production, in his free time, Joey works for the local minor league hockey, football and baseball teams.  

Joey found out about Toyota’s casting call when he received a MySpace friend request from “The Line of Scrimmage.”  He was so intent on landing the hosting job that he started a campaign on his MySpace page.  “The moment I heard about this opportunity to drive around the country reporting on high school football games, I knew this job was meant for me.  I’m now living a lifelong dream,” Joey said.

Host audition videos, high school nominations and additional information on “The Line of Scrimmage” can be found at lineofscrimmage.