RALEIGH — Rising senior quarterbacks Jayden Birchfield of Freedom and Braxton Cox of Draughn have been named top 10 returning passers in the NCHSAA’s 3A and 2A classifications, respectively, by HighSchoolOT.com.
As a junior, Birchfield, the Northwestern 3A/4A Conference offensive player of the year, finished 174 of 279 (62.4 percent) through the air for a county-best 2,780 yards and 27 touchdowns. He set two county records with most total offensive touchdowns in a season (42) and game (seven) and became the county’s all-time leading passer with 6,023 yards.
In an All-Northwestern Foothills 2A Athletic Conference season, Cox set program records for completions (173) and passing yards (2,102) with eight touchdowns. That included a single-game record of 395 yards versus Bunker Hill.
Birchfield, a Navy commit, was named to the 3A list along with Eastern Alamance’s Austin Bryant, D.H. Conley’s Nick Hamilton, Eastern Wayne’s Desmond Vaughn, Hunter Huss’ Zo Wallace, Statesville’s Nebanye Moore, Rocky Mount’s Jaquan Lynch, Lee County’s Colin Johnson, Eastern Guilford’s Kamell Smith and Northwest Cabarrus’ Nick Wilds-Lawing.
Cox is joined on the 2A list by Shelby’s Isaiah Bess, North Davidson’s Landon Moore, Maiden’s Bain Sipe, Hendersonville’s Woodson Hunter, North Surry’s Chase Swartz, Lexington’s Tedric Jenkins, Vance County’s Samein Burwell, North Wilkes’ Cole Chipman and Wheatmore’s Nick Halo.