Freedom senior quarterback Jayden Birchfield set a new county record with six touchdown passes Friday at Draughn, tying his own record from last year by totaling seven offensive touchdowns.

VALDESE — For the second time in six games, Freedom quarterback Jayden Birchfield has scored a county-record seven total touchdowns in one contest.

And just like against West Caldwell at home last October, the senior signal-caller did it all in one half, throwing a new county single-game record six touchdown passes and running for one more in the Patriots’ 60-14 nonconference road win over Draughn on Friday night.

Birchfield finished 12 of 17 through the air for 316 yards, distributing five of those passes to junior wide receiver Desmond Caldwell for 171 yards and three scores and four throws to Damien Dula for 69 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Saiveon Pitman added a TD grab for Freedom, and freshman backup quarterback Ty Little ran one in in the running-clock second half of a game that stood 54-8 at the intermission.

Freedom went 6 of 8 on two-point conversions as Birchfield and Chase Young ran in two apiece, Mekhi Spates added a conversion run and Cam Silvers dove in for another.

Freshman power back Donnell Wilkins scored the Wildcats’ first touchdown and speedster Khe-nai Banks opened the second half with an 85-yard kickoff return for the hosts. Donavan King caught a two-point conversion pass from Braxton Cox for Draughn.


McDowell 41, East Burke 28

The Cavaliers (1-1) fell behind 28-0 and 35-6 Friday but fought back to within a score and had a chance to tie until a fourth-quarter interception reversed momentum and field position, leading to the host Titans’ final score which put away the win with 3:12 left.

EB was again paced by senior running back Josh Moore, who ran for four touchdowns for a second consecutive week to open the season behind the offensive line of Chase Lowman, Matthew Vue, Matthew Smith, Noah Rooks and Hunter Bostain.

Moore’s first score covered 11 yards and got EB on the board with 5:11 left in the second period. His next, a 10-yarder, trimmed the lead to three scores again just before halftime. His final two TDs, both covering 1 yard, came in the third period and gave EB life, but the guests couldn’t score again despite crossing midfield on their penultimate possession.

McDowell’s Riley Moore ran for two scores and passed for another to Quantavian Moore, who rushed for the team’s other three TDs.


R-S Central 41, Patton 13

The host Panthers came out swinging Friday, scoring the first 13 points before the Hilltoppers ran away with the game late.

After rushing touchdowns by Patton’s Weston Fleming (105 passing yards, 32 rushing yards) and Max Short (25 rushing yards, 47 receiving yards) in the opening period, R-S tied things up with 8:17 until halftime, took the lead to close the first half and rattled off three more unanswered scores to end the contest.

Xavier Toms led R-S with 161 rushing yards and three TDs. Quarterback Jaiden Coston ran for 82 yards and a TD and passed for 74 yards and a TD to Jayden Hooper, and Ken Hines III ran for a score.

Patton (0-2) got a team-high 70 rushing yards on 13 carries from fullback Bryson Ratliff. Shawn Moody added 48 receiving yards.

Defensively, Rico Barrino recovered a fumble and had a tackle for loss, Ben Varsamis recovered a fumble and Ratliff, Kalen Byrd (forced fumble), Bryson Holsclaw (1½), Will Cain and Caleb Spann added tackles for loss. Moody also had a pass breakup.


The News Herald sports department can be reached at sports@morganton.com.

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