As Independence High football coach R.J. Windows tallied his players’ votes for team captains this fall, he was not surprised to see Clay Ash’s name on so many ballots. While only a junior and set to be one of the Ashburn school’s featured players for the first time this season, Windows knew that Ash’s work ethic was second to none and how his dedication inspired so many teammates.
“He is the ultimate leader,” Windows said. “He raises the level of everybody around him because of how hard he works.”
So far this fall, that hard work has paid off for Ash, who plays running back and strong safety for the Tigers. He has rushed for more than 100 yards and scored at least one touchdown in every game, including this past weekend, when he rushed 23 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns as Independence remained undefeated with a 33-21 victory over Potomac Falls.
In six games, Ash is averaging more than 11 yards per carry, totaling 1,048 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“All while playing every play on defense, returning punts and returning kickoffs,” Windows said, noting that Ash made five tackles and intercepted a pass against Potomac Falls. “He doesn’t come off the field much.”
But Ash, in his third year on the varsity, is prepared for the workload.
“All he does is lift weights and work out,” Windows said. “If you’re hanging out with him, you’re going to work out: You’re going to lift, you’re going to run and do explosive, dynamic stuff. The kids really respect his work ethic.”
This week’s DC Touchdown Club Player of the Week High School Football Player of the Week Honor Roll:
ANNE ARUNDELOld Mill RB Max Jones rushed 24 times for 139 yards and three touchdowns, including the go-ahead score in overtime, and on defense made five tackles with two tackles for loss as the Patriots beat South River, 28-26.
DCCoolidge WR-CB Anthony Nicholson caught five passes for 73 yards and intercepted a pass on defense as the Colts beat Bell, 15-14.
FREDERICKUrbana WR Riley Smith caught four touchdown passes and intercepted two passes on defense – all in the second quarter — as the Hawks beat Gaithersburg, 38-0.
HOWARDWilde Lake DE Chris Martin made 10 tackles, had five sacks and forced a fumble as the Wildecats beat Centennial, 28-14.
MONTGOMERYRockville RB Macky Langsam rushed 35 times for 301 yards and four touchdowns as the Rams beat Springbrook, 28-21.
NORTHERN REGIONLake Braddock RB Elliot Meine rushed 18 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns and returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown as the Bruins beat South Lakes, 50-10.
PRINCE GEORGE’SHigh Point TE-DE Alijah Miller rushed three times for 34 yards and one touchdown and on defense made three tackles with one tackle for loss, had one sack, forced a fumble and recovered two fumbles as the Eagles beat Northwestern, 32-0.
PRINCE WILLIAMFreedom-Woodbridge QB Tristan Evans completed 18 of 24 passes for 386 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for another score as the Eagles beat Forest Park, 74-0.
PRIVATEBullis RB Khari Walker rushed 17 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat Edmondson-Westside, 31-0.
SOUTHERN MARYLANDNorth Point RB Tre Gray rushed for 124 yards and four touchdowns as the Eagles beat Chopticon, 44-14.
WCACGonzaga RB/LB David Fred rushed five times for 54 yards and on defense made five tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown as the Eagles beat Friendship Collegiate, 34-7.
About the Military Bowl FoundationThe Military Bowl Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates premier events in the National Capital Region to benefit our nation’s service members. Originally formed to create the region’s first-ever college football postseason bowl game, the Foundation now not only runs the Military Bowl presented by Peraton but additionally operates the DC Touchdown Club and Patriot Point, a retreat for recovering service members, their families and caregivers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The Foundation hosts engaging events throughout the year to raise money and awareness for military service members, directly impacting those who give so much of themselves for the country.
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