The shoes to fill are sizable at Tuscarora High in Leesburg. The football team’s recent stars include the DC Touchdown Club’s 2015 Virginia High School Player of the Year (running back Noah Reimers, now a backup at Harvard) and the 2016 Virginia High School Player of the Year (Daniel Smith, starring at Campbell University and recently named to the Walter Payton Award watch list as one of the best offensive players in the Football Championship Subdivision.
While the bar at Tuscarora is set high, Justin Allen is measuring up very well so far. A junior quarterback, Allen has guided the Huskies back to the playoffs. This past Friday, he rushed seven times for 129 yards and completed 6 of 11 passes for 162 yards as the Huskies beat Potomac Falls, 28-7, in a Virginia 5A Region C quarterfinal.
“He’s a super competitive player – a dual threat, he can run and he can throw it,” Tuscarora Coach Mike Burnett said. “He wanted to stay back and throw it earlier in the year, but I think in high school football now, you need to have a dual-threat quarterback. He’s done a great job.”
Tuscarora (9-2) advanced to this Friday’s regional semifinal against Broad Run, which handed the Huskies a 28-12 loss on Sept. 1. Allen has continued to mature and grow as a player since then. Burnett is pleased with his development and knows there is room to continue improving. Allen has a high skill-level; this past winter, he played for the U.S. under-16 national team and earned MVP honors in an International Bowl over Japan.
“He’s just a junior so we’re hoping that next year he continues to mature,” Burnett said. “He’s grown a lot this year. We’re hoping he’s going to be a big impact player.”
Others considered for this week’s award were:
Broadneck QB Shane Davis threw two touchdown passes as the Bruins beat Meade, 35-6, in a Maryland 4A East Region semifinal.
Ballou QB Terronta Buchanan completed 12 of 14 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for a touchdown as the Knights beat Wilson, 35-29, in a DCIAA Stars Division semifinal.
Walkersville RB Jacob Wetzel returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, rushed 16 times for 217 yards and a touchdown and caught a nine-yard touchdown pass as the Lions won their 25th consecutive game, 31-16, over Oakdale in a Maryland 2A West Region semifinal.
Howard RB Devin Dawkins rushed 24 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns and returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown as the Lions beat Sherwood, 20-18, in a Maryland 4A North Region semifinal.
Atholton RB Melvin Brown rushed 23 times for 215 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders beat J.M. Bennett, 43-7, in a Maryland 3A East Region semifinal.
Paint Branch RB Justin Page rushed 18 times for 185 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers beat Perry Hall, 44-21, in a Maryland 4A North Region semifinal.
South Lakes RB Albert Mensah rushed 17 times for 113 yards and three touchdowns as the Seahawks beat Yorktown, 49-14, in a Virginia 6A North Region quarterfinal.
Eleanor Roosevelt RB Elisha McDonald rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders avenged a regular season loss by beating C.H. Flowers, 34-7, in a Maryland 4A South Region semifinal.
Hylton RB Ricky Slade rushed 19 times for 123 yards and five touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat Hayfield, 47-13, in a Virginia 6A Region C quarterfinal.
St. John’s QB Kevin Doyle completed 9 of 23 passes for 226 yards and one touchdown as the Cadets beat DeMatha, 17-14, in a WCAC semifinal.
Georgetown Prep RB Jalen Hampton rushed 19 times for 129 yards and four touchdowns as the Little Hoyas beat Bullis, 35-12, to capture a share of the IAC title.
Lackey RB Robert Middletown rushed for three touchdowns and caught three touchdown passes – all in the first half – as the Chargers beat Surrattsville, 57-6, in a Maryland 1A South Region semifinal.