0907 HS football

Freedom running back Mekhi Spates (7) stiff-arms an East Burke defender for extra yardage during Fat Friday XLVI in Morganton.

Jayden Birchfield passed for four first-half touchdowns and ran for another as the Freedom football team extended its series-record streak to 10 wins over East Burke at home Friday, 56-7.

The Patriots (2-1) came within one point of the single-game scoring record in the Fat Friday rivalry, and the entire second half was played under the mercy-rule running clock.

Birchfield completed 15 of 22 passes for 221 yards, adding four carries for 61 yards. Damien Dula caught a game-high six passes for 94 yards and two TDs, and Birchfield also found Desmond Caldwell (5-65) and Demorian Burgess (2-48) for a score apiece.

Coming off two ACL surgeries the last several years, Freedom running back Chase Young scored his first prep TD and finished with 67 rushing yards on six attempts.

After halftime, freshman Ty Little hit on 4 of 7 passes for 99 yards and TDs to Titus Walker and Sacred Baylor.

The Cavaliers (1-2) got their lone score from Luke Coble (3-54) on a 4-yard pass from Brett Childers to wrap the scoring with 8:45 left.


Draughn 55, Foard 52

The Wildcats came out on the right end of a shootout, setting a program record for points as they opened Northwestern Foothills 2A Athletic Conference play with their first win of the season Friday night in Newton.

Down 45-28 at the intermission after a second-quarter that added 63 total points to the scoreboard, Draughn scored the next 27 points spanning the entire third period and into the fourth. Trent Corn opened the third quarter with his third touchdown of the night before Khe-nai Banks took a 67-yard jet sweep pass from Braxton Cox to the end zone. Draughn took its first lead, 49-45, minutes later when Cox connected with Denver Treadway from 51 yards away.

Nick Chrisco and Cox (on his career-high third TD pass) extended the lead further with a 40-yard scoring strike to start the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats held on as Foard running back Corey Siemer scored his fifth TD of the night.

Corn had gotten Draughn (1-2, 1-0 NWFAC) on the board with a three-yard run to soften a 10-0 deficit, part of the teams rotating seven straight first-half TDs. After the Tigers jumped out to a 17-point advantage in the second quarter, Corn scored again from 28 yards away before the hosts scored once more before the half.

Donnell Wilkins added a three-yard scoring run in the second quarter, and Banks scored on a kick return for the second straight week, from 80 yards out in the same period.


Patton 3, McDowell 0

A 25-yard, third-quarter field goal by Eliseo Ramirez was the difference-maker in what was a scoreless game for over 34 minutes Friday night in Marion.

The winning kick was set up when John Franklin and Will Cain combined to force a Titans’ fumble deep in hosts’ territory, which Max Short recovered. After a Weston Fleming rushing TD was called back due to penalty, the Panthers (1-2) drove back inside the McDowell 10 to set up the kick.

Weston Fleming was on the hold of the snap from Kalen Byrd, and Ramirez split the uprights from the left hash mark.

The Panthers forced an additional fumble forced by Jackson Vance and recovered by Ethan Pons with the Titans at midfield halfway through the final frame.


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

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