BETHEL — Coming off the field, the Cayuga Wildcat players had tears in their eyes.

They were tears of joy as the Wildcats knocked off the giant.

Cayuga junior running back Traylon Shead led the Wildcats over the two-time defending state champion Alto, 35-24, in an emotional win for the Wildcats.

“This is one of the best things that ever happened to us,” senior Kyle Wiseman said as he wiped tears from his eyes. “To beat Alto in my last home game, I will never forget it.”

While the game did not mean much in respects to the playoffs — both teams are in and will be in different divisions — the win may still have been the biggest in Cayuga history because of who it was against.

“This may be the win that gets this entire athletic program over the hump,” Cayuga head coach Tommy Allison said. “We have not been able to knock down a championship-caliber team and we finally did that tonight.”

The Wildcats did it behind a 354-yard, five touchdown performance by Shead, who carried the ball 36 of Cayuga’s 45 plays.

“He is so wonderful and can do anything,” Wiseman said of his teammate.

With Cayuga leading 22-12 after Alto scored on a fourth-down pass, it took Shead two carries to nearly put the game away.

On third-and-three, Shead tried to go right, but looked to be stopped for a loss. He reversed his direction, raced past two Alto defenders to get to the corner and then went down the sideline for a 49-yard touchdown run to give Cayuga a 29-12 lead.

“Traylon really put his stamp on the game in the third quarter,” Allison said. “He showed his speed by reversing field and that swung the tempo to our side.”

After the Cayuga defense stopped Alto three-and-out, Shead broke up the middle and outran the entire Alto defense for a 70-yard score and Cayuga led 35-12 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.

“I had a lot of trust in my offensive line, quarterback and wide receivers to block,” Shead said.

After Shead’s fifth touchdown of the game, it was time for the Wildcats to hang on.

Alto’s Marcus Gasaway responded with a 35-yard run to put the Yellowjackets inside the Cayuga 20-yard line. Alto later converted on a fourth-and-one and two plays later, Javonte Jones scored on a 2-yard run. Alto was not able to get the two-point conversion pass and the Yellowjackets trailed by three scores, 35-18.

After Cayuga fumbled the ball, Alto used some trickery, as on a double reverse pass, Jones found Kevin Blackmore down the field and he juked his way for a 65-yard touchdown. Again the pass attempt on the two-point conversion failed and Alto trailed 35-24.

On the play, Shead got hit hard in the backfield trying to make a tackle and was down for several minutes.

However he came back on the next series and rushed six times in helping the Wildcats run nearly five minutes off the clock.

Alto got the ball back with 2:29 to play but the Yellowjackets turned the ball over on downs and Cayuga ran out the clock for the win.

The Wildcats got out to a quick start over Alto, taking a 22-0 lead in the first half.

Cayuga march down the field on its opening drive, including a 7-yard run by Shead to convert on fourth down and an 11-yard pass from Broc January to Malcome Kennedy to put the Wildcats inside the Alto 15-yard line.

Three plays later, Shead scored on a 6-yard run for a 7-0 lead.

On Alto’s first possession, Cayuga’s Billy Duncan intercepted a pass and returned it to the Alto 25-yard line. It took three plays for Shead to find the end zone again on a 7-yard run and after he had the two-point run, the Wildcats led 15-0.

After a three-and-out by the Wildcat defense, Shead had runs of 18 and 39 yards to get to the Alto 5-yard line. Two plays later, Shead scored on a 2-yard run and Cayuga led 22-0.

Alto cut the lead to 22-6 in the second quarter when on third down Kyle Denum caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Thacker. It was the first of two touchdown catches by Denum and Cayuga led by 16 points going into the lockeroom.

Notes: Shead has rushed for 2,300 yards and 36 touchdowns this season. ...Cayuga lost to Alto 51-0 last season.


Alto (5-1,6-3) 0 6 6 12 — 24

Cayuga (5-0,8-1) 15 7 13 0 — 35

Cayuga — Traylon Shead 6 run (Cory Perry kick)

Cayuga — Shed 7 run (Shed run)

Cayuga — Shed 2 run (Perry kick)

Alto — Kyle Denum 40 pass from Brandon Thacker (kick failed)

Alto — Denum 20 pass from Thacker (run failed)

Cayuga — Shead 49 run (Perry kick)

Cayuga — Shead 70 run (kick blocked)

Alto — Javonte Jones 2 run (pass failed)

Alto — Kevin Blakemore 65 pass from Jones (pass failed)

Alto Cayuga

First downs 14 15

Rushes-yards 31-142 43-392

Passing yards 259 16

Total yards 401 408

Comp-Att-Int 10-17-1 2-3-0

Punts 2-35 1-38

Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1

Penalties-Yards 12-106 9-85


RUSHING — Alto: Marcuse Gasaway, 22-126; Denum, 3-14; Demarcus Griffin, 4-7; Thacker, 1-(-7); Jones, 1-(-4). Cayuga: Shead, 26-354; Malcome Kennedy, 4-31; Broc January, 3-7.

PASSING — Alto: Thacker, 9-16-1-132. Cayuga: Jones, 1-1-0-65; January, 2-3-0-16.

RECEIVING — Alto: Blakemore, 3-71; Denum, 3-62; Griffin, 1-32; Jordan Shaw, 2-21; Mark Green, 1-11. Cayuga: Kennedy, 2-16.

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