Nathan Rourke isn’t the first Edgewood quarterback to win a state championship, but he might be the best.
The senior threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, along with a rushing score, to lead the Wildcats to a 40-34 victory over Marengo Academy in the AISA Class AA state championship.
It’s been those kind of numbers all year for the Canadian transfer, and his ability to extend plays with his feet, bouncing off would-be tacklers, is what separates him from the pack in the mind of coach Bobby Carr.
“People started asking midway through the season, ‘Is he the best quarterback you’ve ever had?’ And I said, ‘I’m not going to say it until he’s holding that trophy up.’ He’s as good as it gets for me. He’s the best quarterback I’ve seen in this area in 15 years,” Carr said. “He can make it happen with his feet, his arm and his knowledge of the game. He’s just a special talent, and whoever lands him, they’re getting something special. Not just what you see on the field, but he’s even a better person off the field.
“He’s a little bigger version of Johnny Manziel…on the field.”
As Luck-y would have it: It wasn’t long ago Kelvin Lucky didn’t even know what football was. The transfer from Nigeria was new to the game, to the school and to the country about 18 months ago.
But in Edgewood’s 40-34 victory over Marengo Academy in the state championship game, Lucky looked nothing like a rookie.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound defensive end recorded five tackles in the victory, and helped the defense hold of Marengo’s comeback on the final play of the game.
“To me it’s a great opportunity. I remember when I actually started football, I didn’t understand the plays. I didn’t know what they were doing,” Lucky said. “I’ve been praying for a long time, I just wanted to be the champ, the last one standing. Finally today I made it.”
It may be his first championship, but he’s already acting like he’s been there.
“I’m going to get a ring, right?” he said.
Built. Ford. Tough: Just about the only thing the Edgewood Wildcats haven’t done during their 71-game winning streak and six state championship runs is win a game at the very end.
Check that one of the list.
The Wildcats’ defense held strong on the final play of the game to defeat Marengo Academy 40-34 and win the AISA Class AA state championship.
“Like Ford, we’re built tough. I wasn’t too worried. During those last couple of minutes, I was about the calmest I’ve ever been. It felt great, it was a football game,” linebacker Khalid Young said.
Young – who has offers from Mississippi State and Vanderbilt – had eight tackles in the victory.
“A lot of emotions. I’m happy. Very happy. It haven’t really grasped it yet,” Young said.
Nothing but Green: Edgewood’s senior receiver Daniel Green tore through the banner and addressed his team. They swayed back and forth as intensity built leading up to the AISA Class AA state championship against Marengo Academy.
“I just told them that we’ve worked hard and we’re going to get things done. We worked hard in the summer, numerous 7-on-7 camps. We were confident coming into the season because we knew we worked hard enough to make it here,” Green said.
And the senior came through in the clutch in his final game, catching two passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns in the 40-34 victory.
Both of Green’s scores were vital to the Wildcats keeping their 71-game win streak alive. He caught a 51-yard touchdown with 11 second left in the first half to put his team ahead 27-20. His 57-yarder late in the third quarter ended up being the difference in the game.
“It’s a blessing. What more can you ask for? It’s a dream come true,” Green said.