ROAN MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (WJHL) – Cloudland senior Kyle Birchfield was in the zone on Friday night against Jellico.
“I didn’t really know how many yards I had passing – didn’t really know how many yards I had throwing,” he said.
In all, he tallied 263 total yards of offense – 147 on the ground and 116 through the air – and five total touchdowns in a dominant region win over the Blue Devils on homecoming.
“Played good on defense, as well,” head coach Zac Benfield added.
“Kyle has turned into a good leader,” he continued. “He’s not just performing the right way, but he’s communicating the right way and doing the little things right.”
It’s why the Highlanders have turned to Birchfield at quarterback in recent weeks, particularly in shotgun sets.
“He’s able to to get things calmed down,” Benfield said. “He’s taken it and done a really good job with it.”
The added responsibilities under center have put a lot on Birchfield’s plate, but he’s used to it.
“Last year they just moved me around,” he said. “We didn’t have too many players. It was a little bit of blocking back, fullback, running back – and this year it’s kind of the same thing.”
“I mean, I like it that way,” he continued. “For [coaches] to say, ‘here, do this.'”
Kyle is just the latest Birchfield to wear Blue and Gold, following behind his older brother, Seth.
“You play football,” Kyle said of being a Birchfield, “it’s just one of them things.”
Benfield says all the Birchfields are hard-working and coachable young men. But, the unique nature of Kyle’s leadership style isn’t quite so serious.
“Try to pick everybody up,” he said. “You can’t put everybody down all the time. You just got to cheer everybody up – laugh and have a good time.”
After all, it is only football.
Cloudland (4-3, 3-0 Region 1-1A) will look to remain unbeaten in the region with a trip to Cosby looming on Friday.