If there’s a better offensive player in high school football in the state of New Jersey other than Freehold’s record-breaking quarterback Ashante Worthy, please let me know about him because he must have supernatural powers.
Worthy’s assault on the record books continued in the quarterfinals of last week’s NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV game versus No. 1 seed Nottingham when he shattered the Shore Conference record for TDs in a season. Worthy rushed for seven scores in the Colonials’ 51-34 win, giving him an amazing 51 TDs for the season after entering game tied for the record.
His 419-yards rushing against Nottingham gives him 2,463 yards for the season, just 126 yards off the Shore Conference single-season rushing mark held by Long Branch’s Dahmiere Willis – older brother of current Long Branch running back Jermaine Corbett.
Worthy already has the mark for all-purpose yards in a season and his 1,848 passing yards leads the Shore. If he surpasses 2,000 passing-yards this season he would become the first player in state history to run and pass for more than 2,000 yards in a season.
Should the No. 8 seeded Colonials (7-3, 4-4) get by fifth-seeded Brick Township (6-4, 5-2) – which I expect them to do – Friday night in a Central Jersey Group IV semifinal game, Worthy would have a shot at breaking the Shore Conference all-time rushing mark of 6,676 yards, held by Keyport’s Ken Cattouse, who graduated in 2003.
His career rushing total stands at 5,999 yards, so unless he rushes for almost 700 yard against Brick, he’ll need to win Friday night for a shot at the record.
The Colonials were forced to forfeit their season-opening 46-20 win over Freehold Township for using an ineligible player, but since then they’ve gone 7-2 with their two losses coming to Manalapan – ranked sixth in the state – and No. 19 Howell in a shootout. They’ve averaged 42 points a game this season behind their masterful quarterback.
A year ago, Worthy was a first-team All-Shore selection and second-team All-State pick when he led the Colonials to a 6-5 record and a semifinal appearance before losing a 21-20 heartbreaker to this Friday’s opponent, Brick Township.
In Freehold’s 69-56 win over Pennsauken in the Central Jersey Group IV first-round game last season he broke the state record, scoring 10 touchdowns (eight rushing, two passing) and rushed for a Shore Conference single-game record 465 yards on 43 carries, which also was a state record for rushing yards in a game for a quarterback.
The only thing left for Worthy to accomplish in his high school career is for him to lead his team to a state sectional championship and that is definitely within their reach. If they get by Brick Friday night they’ll face the winner of the No. 3 seed Long Branch/No. 7 seed Jackson Memorial game.
UPDATE: Worthy ran for 125 yards and threw for 119 yards in Friday night’s semifinal game in a relatively tame night for him, as the Colonials scored 21 unanswered points to open the second half and held on to beat Brick, 35-28, to reach their first sectional final since 2010.