Nathan Rourke (12) in a game against Marshall in 2019. He broke the all-time touchdown record in the game. PHOTO: Ben Weilgopolski/WOUB

Ohio Football: Rourke Wants More Than Personal Records

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ATHENS, OH — When asked following the Bobcats’ 33-31 loss to Marshall how he felt about breaking Ohio’s all-time touchdowns record, senior quarterback Nathan Rourke’s response was short but firm.

“I wasn’t even thinking about it,” he said with a serious look on his face.

It was hard not to believe him.

Rourke’s touchdown pass to Ryan Luerhman with 8:03 remaining in the 3rd quarter this past Saturday night in Huntington gave him 83 total touchdowns (45 passing, 37 rushing, and 1 receiving) in just his first 29 games since he arrived at Ohio from Fort Scott Community College in Alabama. Tyler Tettleton, the Bobcats’ starting QB from 2011-2013, previously held the record but needed 43 games to set it.

“There’s no way you were going to sit here and say that he was going to break Tett’s records. But we knew he was talented, we knew he was going to have an impact on this program,” Ohio offensive coordinator Tim Albin said. “He is very humble, he doesn’t like to talk about it. I don’t bring it up to him.”

“I should make a bigger deal of (the record) to him, but he doesn’t want to talk about it, so I’m not gonna bring it up and tell him how great he is,” Albin added.

Nathan Roure in a game against Kent State in 2017. He scored his first career touchdown earlier that season against Hampton. PHOTO: Joe Medlen/WOUB

However, those who know Nathan best, such as his younger brother Kurtis, know that even if he doesn’t say it, the record means something.

“He works hard every day. He puts so much time into this program, this sport, and his position,” Kurtis said. “He’s grown up loving the game, so I know this (record) means so much to him.”

Despite not wanting to speak on his personal accomplishments, Rourke is well on pace to become the first Bobcat ever to be responsible for 100 touchdowns in his career. His name is also scattered all over the offensive record books and will only climb the rankings by season’s end.

Rourke will likely rank second in passing yards and passing touchdowns. He has a good chance of cracking the top ten in rushing yards and is already third all-time in rushing touchdowns, currently sitting only 12 scores away from breaking that record as well. 

But none of these individual accomplishments will mean much to Rourke if they don’t come with the team ones as well. 

“I really want to be a part of a team that wins a MAC Championship, rather than individual accomplishments. When you look back in five, ten, twenty years at my time at OU, it would be nice to say that I have (the records), but I would much rather be a part of the team that gets over the hump and be the first team to win since ‘68,” Rourke said. “Hopefully, there’s a lot more to accomplish with this team.”

His name may end up all over the record books when his time with the Bobcats is through, but it’s clear that the only thing he wants to have a hand in is raising the MAC Championship trophy in Detroit in early December.

Nathan and Kurtis (7) Rourke share a moment during the Bobcats' loss to Marshall on September 14, 2019. PHOTO: Ben Weilgopolski/WOUB