Steubenville Big Red speedster Maurice Bougard was a big-play receiver all season for Coach Reno Saccoccia’s state championship team but perhaps the biggest individual highlight of his high school career came this past Sunday as he streaked 92 yards for the winning touchdown in the annual Rudy Mumley OVAC All-Star Charity Football Classic at Wheeling Island Stadium.
Bougard, who owns two state track titles in the 100 and 200 meter dash and played on two state championship football teams, had spent most of his time running out of the backfield Sunday, but when he lined up outside, where he spent much of his team helping the Big Red claim the last two Division III state titles, the crowd knew the possibility to make things happen was there.
“I told the coaches the whole game just to give me an opportunity, to throw it up and let me go deep and let me go get it,” Bougard said.
That opportunity came with less then 90 seconds to play.
Down 3-0, Ohio moved Bougard outside and West Virginia’s defensive set on the decisive play surprised the Big Red graduate.
“They were in man defense,” Bougard said, “It was in the last minutes of the game and I figured they would have their safeties over the best receivers. They didn’t seem to be playing smart and we had to outsmart them.”
Bougard teamed with Bellaire quarterback Nick Rocchio to do just that.
“I looked in his eyes and said ‘just throw the ball up and let me go get it,” Bougard said. “I’m scoring.”
Bougard got past the coverage and caught the pass racing down the sidelines in front of the wild Ohio bench. He dove into the end zone for the winning score.
“I felt the guy behind me, but I didn’t think he could catch me,” Bougard said, “I had to kick it in a little bit more.”
The 5-foot-8, 160-pounder caught 24 passes for 486 yards (20.3 yards per catch) and six touchdowns during his senior campaign. He caught seven balls for 125 yards Sunday. Bougard also contributed 51 yards on seven carries.
Maurice is headed to the University of Toledo where he’ll report as a walk on to the Rockets’ football squad.
Bougard was a first-team all-District and all-OVAC pick.
While being a standout on the football field, Bougard also left his mark on area tracks this past spring. He ran away with the Division II state titles and established a new OVAC Class 4-A meet record. He also lettered in basketball during his stint at Big Red.