U High quarterback Arion Worthman takes off against Central Catholic in Corn Belt Conference action Friday at Hancock Stadium. (Sandy Adams/YouNameIt Sports)
By Bryan Bloodworth
NORMAL – Arion Worthman had a hand in five touchdowns to lead University High School to a 54-12 Corn Belt Conference victory Friday over Intercity rival Central Catholic at Hancock Stadium.
The 5-foot-11 junior threw for four touchdowns and ran for one as the Pioneers moved their record to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Corn Belt. Central Catholic is winless in two games overall and one in conference play.
Worthman completed 14 of 20 passes for 204 yards and rushed for 119 yards on 11 carries. He opened the scoring with a 21-yard pass to Austin Welter and Luke Otto tacked on his first of eight conversion kicks.
The Pioneers pushed the advantage to 34-0 before the Saints could score on a 49-yard pass from Worthman to Malik Wildermuth; a 48-yard run by Worthman; a 38-yard pass from Worthman to Wildermuth and a Brady Murray recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone.
“They’re a good football team,” said Central coach Bobby Moews. “They are very athletic. That quarterback…they’ll go as far as he can take them because he’s special. He made more big plays out of nothing that I’ve seen any kid make in a long time.”
Wildermuth caught seven passes for 151 yards, which caught the eye of U High coach Dusty Burk. “Malik did an excellent job out there on the edge,” said Burk. “Arion got him the ball and he opened it up for us. With that threat out there, it opened some other things. We had a couple of big runs.”
Central Catholic got its first touchdown on a 1-yard run by quarterback Grant Glowacki before Worthman found Wildermuth with a 4-yard scoring pass for a 41-6 U High lead. Joe Johnson followed with a 60-yard punt return for touchdown for U High before Mclain Engel completed the Pioneers’ scoring when he returned a blocked punt five yards to pay dirt.
Central received its final touchdown on a 13-yard run by Brett Segobiano, who finished with 69 yards on 13 carries. Glowacki completed 9 of 17 passes for 96 yards.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” said Moews, whose team travels to Prairie Central next week. “We got a lot of different areas we have to get better. Hopefully we can get it worked out.”
U High entertains winless Olympia next week. “We wanted to be 2-0, so we’re on schedule,” said Burk. “Now we have to get to work and try to be 3-0.”
Bryan Bloodworth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org