Player of the Week: Independence’s Clay Ash

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.

Ash is only a junior, and this season was to be his first as one of the Ashburn school’s featured players. But Windows knew that Ash’s work ethic was second to none, and that 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 last weekend, when he rushed 23 times for 230 yards and three touchdowns as Independence remained undefeated with a 33-21 victory over Potomac Falls.

This week’s Military Bowl DC Touchdown Club High School Football Player of the Week is Independence running back and strong safety Clay Ash after his incredible two-way performance in the Tigers’ 33-21 victory over Potomac Falls. (James Torrenzano)

In six games, he 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 team, 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:


Old 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.


Coolidge WR-CB Anthony Nicholson caught five passes for 73 yards and intercepted a pass as the Colts beat Bell, 15-14.


Urbana 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.


Wilde Lake DE Chris Martin made 10 tackles, had five sacks and forced a fumble as the Wildecats beat Centennial, 28-14.


Rockville RB Macky Langsam rushed 35 times for 301 yards and four touchdowns as the Rams beat Springbrook, 28-21.


Lake 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.


High 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.


Freedom-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.


Bullis RB Khari Walker rushed 17 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat Edmondson-Westside, 31-0.


North Point RB Tre Gray rushed for 124 yards and four touchdowns as the Eagles beat Chopticon, 44-14.


Gonzaga 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.

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