By PAUL STONE
H-P Associate Editor
FRANKSTON — In 1994, Sam Wells was a member of the first team in Cayuga school history to qualify for the state football playoffs.
Fifteen years later on Friday night, the second-year Frankston head coach was on the opposite sideline, guiding the Indians to a stunning, season-opening 33-26 win over No. 1 ranked Cayuga in a non-district nailbitter.
"You always want to do well in front of your hometown," Wells said in the victorious locker room following the Indians' come-from-behind win. "The main thing is they are so talented and ranked No. 1 in the state. Not many people gave us a shot, but our kids played their guts out...We just had hearts of champions."
The Indians were able to pull off the upset without the services of all-state candidate and senior defensive tackle Coby Coleman who missed the contest due to an ankle injury. The Texas Tech commitment could possibly return in two weeks.
Frankston got a nicely-managed game from junior quarterback Jamal Allen and ran the ball effectively for most of the night against the Wildcats. The Indians finished with a whopping 323 rushing yards, with sophomore Treston Coleman doing half of the damage with 161 yards on 15 carries.
During the final quarter, Frankston took advantage of Cayuga's wide splits at the defensive tackles, with Allen taking a quick snap and racing through the middle of the line on several key plays down the stretch.
"Our offense allows for the quarterback to audible at the line of scrimmage," Wells said. "We were just taking what they were giving us."
After falling behind, 14-0, in the game's opening five minutes after losing two quick fumbles, Frankston fought back to tie the game at 20 with just under four minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Allen brought the Indians within a deuce, 20-18, on a 4-yard quarterback keeper right through the heart of Cayuga's defense and then added the tying two-point conversion on a sprint around left end with 3:54 left in the third quarter.
Cayuga, however, regained the advantage during the opening two minutes of the final quarter.
After a fourth-and-goal pass interference call against the Indians kept their drive alive, the Wildcats went back out in front, 26-20, after senior running back Traylon Shead ran in from 2 yards on a direct snap with 10:19 left.
Frankston squelched Cayuga's two-point conversion attempt when the Indians' Dedtrick Smith intercepted Kennedy's jump pass at the goal line as the Wildcats' advantage stayed at a half-dozen, 26-20.
Smith intercepted a pair of Cayuga two-point conversion passes, returning the first 99 yards late in the first half for a Frankston two-pointer. The senior also rushed for 82 yards on nine carries offensively.
After Cayuga's go-ahead drive, the Indians wasted little time as Seth Terrell returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the Wildcat 36.
Two plays later, Allen found himself in heavy congestion at the line of scrimmage on a run around left end, but made the late pitch to Smith who dashed 33 yards for the tying touchdown with 8:58 to go in the contest.
Justin Bergstrom, who had a 29-yard field goal in the first half, added the PAT as the Indians were in front, 27-26.
The teams traded fumbles during the middle stages of the final quarter, with the latter coming when Cayuga's Kennedy and Shead could not make connections on a handoff exchange as the Indians' Dalton Bruton, who was active defensively throughout the game, made the recovery at the Frankston 21.
Eight plays later — four of which were Allen keepers up the middle splitting the Wildcats' defense — Frankston went ahead, 33-26, on an Allen 4-yard dash with 2:16 remaining.
Bergstrom's PAT was blocked as the Indians' lead remained at seven points.
Cayuga would make things interesting in the game's final moments.
With Shead powering his way through the middle of the Indians' defense, Cayuga advanced the ball all the way to the Indian 11 with just under 30 seconds left.
After spiking the ball to stop the clock and keep hope alive, the Wildcats faced fourth-and-14 from the Indian 15 with two seconds left.
Kennedy ran around left end and, after multiple pitches between multiple players, the Wildcats lost 15 yards on the game's final play and their season opener.
Shead, who has committed to play football at the University of Texas, finished with 166 yards on 26 carries.
The game featured many of the typical first-game characteristics as the teams combined for 11 fumbles (losing seven) and 16 penalties for 120 yards.
Cayuga plays its home opener next Friday against Grand Saline, while Frankston hosts Class 3A Brownsboro.
Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cayuga 14 6 0 6 _ 26
Frankston 7 5 8 13 _ 33
C _ Traylon Shead 22 run (run failed)
C _ Billy Duncan 18 pass from Malcome Kennedy (Shead run)
F _ Jabralon Allen 31 run (Justin Bergstrom kick)
F_ Bergstrom 29 field goal
C_ Kennedy 8 run (pass failed)
F _ Dedtrick Smith intercepted Kennedy's pass for a two-point conversion and returned it 99 yards for two points
F_ Jamal Allen 4 run (Allen run)
C _ Shead 2 run (pass failed)
F _ Smith 33 run (Bergstrom kick)
F _ Jamal Allen 4 run (kick blocked)
First Downs _ 15/15
Rushing _ 37/151 and 42/323
Passing _ 8-23-0 and 0-6-1
Passing Yards _ 100 and 0
Penalties _ 5/34 and 11/86
Punts _ 2-22.0 and 1-21.0
Fumbles _ 6/3 and 5/4
RUSHING: C: Traylon Shead, 26-166; F: Treston Coleman, 15-161; Dedtrick Smith, 9-82; Jabralon Allen, 3-44; Jamal Allen, 12-27; Michael Warren, 3-9.
PASSING: C: Malcome Kennedy, 8-23-0 for 100 yards; F: Jamal Allen, 0-5-1 for 0 yards; Michael Warren, 0-1-0 for 0 yards.
RECEIVING: C: Billy Duncan, 7-95 and Caleb Summerville, 1-5.