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Yuma’s Richard Stallworth: Arizona’s all-time leading passer

Yuma’s Richard Stallworth: Arizona’s all-time leading passer
Richard Stallworth, (4) Yuma quarterback, left, winds up to pass the ball during the fourth quarter against Northwest Christian on Oct. 1, 2021, in Phoenix. (Photo: Antranik Tavitian/USA TODAY NETWORK)

YUMA, Ariz. (BVM) – With a city population of less than 100,000, a high school of about 500 students and a rag-tag football roster of just 38, Yuma Catholic doesn’t inherently command a ton of respect from outsiders. 

“I’ve had college coaches tell me, ‘You’re coming from too small of a town and too small of a school,’” Yuma Catholic quarterback Richard Stallworth said. “They just don’t believe in me and the sort of team we have. A lot of teams think we’re smaller than them and they’re just going to run all over us. But we’re going to fight no matter how many kids we have in the school.” 

Thinking the Shamrocks are a slouch is a mistake. The biggest reason why is their star quarterback who has etched his name into the state’s record books while leading one of the nation’s most explosive offenses. 

During an Oct. 14 game against Buckeye when Stallworth threw for six touchdowns, he broke the AIA state record for career touchdown passes, surpassing Chase Cord’s (Sunrise Mountain) mark of 137. 

Then just two weeks later, Stallworth made history once again as his 252 passing yards in a 31-30 overtime loss to Northwest made him the state of Arizona’s all-time leading passer. The Yuma senior broke South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler’s previous mark of 11,083 career passing yards. 

Stallworth now has 11,539 career passing yards and 155 passing touchdowns in just three seasons of varsity action. He’s not finished either. 

“It feels amazing,” Stallworth said of the records. “As a small-town kid, you can only dream of breaking a school record and knowing that you beat that state record and guys like Spencer Rattler who played at Oklahoma and now at South Carolina, it’s just an honor. It’s a feeling like no other but now it’s in the record books and we’re going to win a state title now.” 

After going 22-3 at the 3A level over the last two seasons – due in large part to Stallworth’s arm – Yuma Catholic made the jump up to 4A this year. Despite the step up in competition, Stallworth and the Shamrocks haven’t shown a single glimpse of slowing down. 

At 7-2, with both losses coming by a combined 11 points, Yuma Catholic’s state title aspirations are still very much alive and well. 

“We came into 4A and now we’re one of the top teams in 4A so it’s obvious that we’re not going to back down from anyone and I think it’s going to stay that way for a long time,” Stallworth said. 

Stallworth originally put himself on the map as a sophomore when he threw for 3,803 yards and 49 touchdowns (both marks led the state) to just 10 interceptions. He somehow outdid himself as a junior by throwing for nearly 5,000 yards (4,863) and a mind-boggling 67 touchdowns. 

Now, as his time with the program he grew up watching comes to a close, Stallworth is making the most of his final opportunities at Yuma Catholic. 

“It’s something I’ve always dreamt about,” Stallworth said of being in his position as the unquestioned leader of Yuma Catholic football. “It’s a little scary knowing that it’s going to come to an end pretty soon here but I’m just trying to cherish every bit of it I can.” 

Stallworth – who has thrown for 2,873 yards, 39 touchdowns and 12 interceptions through nine games this season – is used to proving people wrong. 

Not many thought a kid from Yuma would become the state of Arizona’s all-time leading passer. The same could be said for the amount of people who believed Yuma Catholic would be competitive, let alone dominant, at the 4A level. 

But against a pair of 4A schools – Buckeye and Glendale – in back-to-back weeks earlier this season, Stallworth threw for a combined 671 yards, 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. It goes to show that there is immense talent even in the smallest of places. 

Before Stallworth closes the book on his Yuma Catholic career, he plans to make one final point. 

“Everyone doubted us going up to 4A, thinking we weren’t going to be any good and that we would struggle against tough teams,” Stallworth said. “That’s all going to be over once we win it.”