Photo Credit: Keegan Shaw

Ohio Football Outlasts UMass in Offensive Slugfest

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It was a grind-it-out game for the Ohio Bobcats (4-1,1-0) on Saturday afternoon as they left Massachusetts with a 58-50 victory over the UMass Minutemen (0-6). This was a back and forth battle from the opening kickoff to the final whistle, but Ohio prevailed despite losing two defensive players Cleon Aloese and Illyass Motley to targeting penalties throughout the game.

The Bobcats were led by quarterback Nathan Rourke, despite being limited in practice the entire week, and running back A.J. Ouellette right from the first offensive drive. Between the two of them, they contributed six touchdowns to the Bobcats offense and kept the Minutemen on their heels all afternoon.

It was the first time since facing Kansas last season, that two Bobcats rushed for over 100 yards in a game. Rourke finished with 181 yards passing while contributing 113 yards on the ground and Ouellette had 125 yards rushing on 12 carries and 26 receiving yards.

The Bobcats finished the game with 292 yards as a team on the ground after establishing the run right from their opening drive. In addition to the running game, the Bobcats got their pass game going with 181 yards through the air.

Wide receiver Brendan Cope had a career day with seven receptions, 125 yards, and one touchdown.

This was a big-time win for the Bobcats, facing a team that was hungry for their first victory of the season.

Despite giving up a season-high 50 points and 550 total yards, the Bobcats defense had some bright spots, forcing two turnovers in back to back possessions during the first quarter. Another highlight for the Bobcats was their special teams play.

Returner Julian Ross had a season-high 156 yards returning kickoffs in this game and kicker Louie Zervos was 3-for-3 in field goal attempts.

With this victory, the Bobcats finish the non-conference schedule with an impressive 3-1 record while averaging 45 points per game. Now that the non-conference part of the schedule is over, all that is left for the Bobcats is some MACtion.

The Bobcats play at Peden Stadium for the first time in three weeks next Saturday when they face off against Central Michigan. Ohio is looking for revenge after falling to the Chippewa’s 27-20 last season in Mt. Pleasant.