High School Player of the Week: Tuscarora’s Bryce Duke

Things sure have changed for Bryce Duke. In just six months, he has emerged as one of the D.C. area’s top football players, which led to a scholarship offer to play for Virginia Tech. Opposing defenses are geared to stop the Tuscarora High School (Virginia) running back, and their fans are just as aware that stopping No. 22 is the key to their team’s success.

And yet, while the spotlight now shines brightly on Duke, the results remain the same.

Duke rushed 43 times for 305 yards and four touchdowns and caught two passes for 52 yards and a touchdown this past Friday, as the Huskies beat John Champe, 42-35. For his efforts, Duke was named the Military Bowl DC Touchdown Club High School Football Player of the Week. The Player of the Week is honored throughout each Wednesday on WTOP Radio.

“He just took over,” Tuscarora coach Brandon Wheelbarger said. “It was one of those games where everyone in the stadium knew we were going to rely on Bryce. And 40 carries later, he had put on a show.”

Bryce Duke’s dominant performance in a 42-35 victory earned the Tuscarora senior the High School Player of the Week. (Courtesy Eyes Wide Open Photography)

It was just the latest prolific chapter for Duke. Already this season, he has rushed for 577 yards and nine touchdowns and caught three more touchdown passes, leading the Huskies to a 3-0 start and stretching their regular season winning streak to 17 games.

Duke plans to graduate high school early and enroll at Virginia Tech for the spring semester, but he remains as focused as ever on the task at hand at Tuscarora.

“I can’t speak highly enough about Bryce,” Wheelbarger said. “He’s invested here to go out the right way. I’ve been really impressed with him.”

This week’s DC Touchdown Club Player of the Week High School Football Player of the Week Honor Roll:


Broadneck QB Josh Ehrlich completed 15 of 27 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns as the Bruins beat South River, 30-13.


Richard Wright RB Chamon Burleigh rushed 16 times for 70 yards, had five catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns and returned two kickoffs for 115 yards as the Spartans lost at Marietta (Ohio), 40-12.


Frederick WR Travon Neal had 11 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns, threw a touchdown pass and had 43 yards in punt returns, as the Cadets lost to Middletown, 35-33.


Mount Hebron RB-OLB Aidan Hauf rushed six times for 169 yards and two touchdowns and on defense made 10 tackles and forced three fumbles, as the Vikings beat Marriotts Ridge, 42-21.


Damascus RB-LB-K Dillon Dunathan rushed nine times for 115 yards and two touchdowns, scored a two-point conversion, made two point-after touchdown kicks, kicked two field goals and on defense made 18 tackles with two sacks as the Swarmin’ Hornets beat Magruder 28-0.


Jefferson LB Hilal Hussain made 16 tackles and returned an interception 87 yards for the Colonials’ first defensive touchdown in 10 seasons, as they beat FCA Bucks, 27-14.


Laurel WR-DB Amare Ary had eight catches for 207 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown, and intercepted a pass on defense as the Spartans beat Bowie, 24-14.


Hylton WR-DB Dylan Wright caught three touchdown passes and on defense intercepted two passes as the Bulldogs beat Briar Woods, 34-22.


Avalon RB Joshua Pitsenberger rushed eight times for 152 yards and two touchdowns, caught a 71-yard touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown as the Black Knights beat Riverdale Baptist, 52-14.


Huntingtown TE-LB Chad Connolly made 20 tackles, including five tackles for loss, and had one sack as the Hurricanes beat Leonardtown, 26-6.

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