The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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December 20, 2009

Cayuga wins state title

PALESTINE — MANSFIELD — The Cayuga Wildcats looked to be writing the same script as last year’s state championship game.

Early mistakes and big plays from the opposition put the Wildcats down for the second straight year in the Class A, Division II state championship game.

But this year, the Wildcats changed the ending.

Cayuga overcame some early adversity to score with on every possession but one in a 38-24 win over Albany to capture the state championship.

“I can’t even cry, I am so happy,” senior Melvin Shead said. “We were not going to let this game be taken away from us.”

For the second straight year, there were lots of tears on the Cayuga sideline, but this time, it was tears of joy. The state title comes a year after Cayuga lost to Stratford in the state championship game.

“I can’t say enough about what these kids have gone through the last year,” Cayuga head coach Tommy Allison said. “This is a real proud moment for our school and our football team.”

Malcome Kennedy finished a sensational season as the Cayuga quarterback with a game-high 241 rushing yards and accounted for four touchdowns — two rushing and two passing.

“Malcome has been doing this all year for us,” Allison said. “We knew it would not be different once we were playing for the state title.”

Traylon Shead, who hurt himself before the game, fought through the pain both on offense and defense. He rushed for 144 yards and scored three touchdowns.

“Traylon showed a lot of heart today because he was hurting,” Allison said. “But he still came out and led us to the victory.”

Last year, Cayuga turned the ball over on its first two possessions and found itself in the hole early against Stratford.

This year, the adversity started even before kickoff when Traylon Shead, the AP All-State Class A Offensive Player of the Year, pulled a hamstring in warmups and was a question mark if he would be able to play in the game.

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