Malcome Kennedy was an all-state wide receiver last year for Cayuga, but this year made the move to quarterback at the request of Cayuga head coach Tommy Allison.
“At first I don’t think Malcome was real excited about the move, but he saw what it would do for the overall good of the team,” Allison told the Palestine Herald last week. “He always is going to do what is best for the team.”
On Saturday afternoon, Texas A&M commit Malcome Kennedy rushed for 243 yards and 2 TDs and completed 3 of 4 passes for 50 yards and 2 TDs to lead Cayuga to a 38-24 Class 1A state championship win over Albany.
Cayuga fell behind early, 10-0, as Albany scored a touchdown on their opening drive, then recovered a fumbled kickoff and scored a field goal. Cayuga had not even run an offensive play until there was 13 seconds left in the first quarter.
Albany converted another Cayuga fumble into a score midway through the second quarter to take a 17-7 lead.
Cayuga again came back to cut the lead to three when after a 50-yard run by back Traylon Shead, Malcome Kennedy tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Billy Duncan to make the score 17-14 Albany.
On their next possession, Cayuga used alternating runs from Kennedy and Shead to move down field before Kennedy threw a screen pass to Shead and Shead scored from 21 yards out to give Cayuga its first lead of the day 20-17.
In the third quarter, with Shead on the sideline nursing a strained hamstring, Kennedy led Cayuga down the field and scored on a 22-yard run to give Cayuga a 26-17 lead.
Albany stayed in the game when Leif Johnston connected with Jason Brothers on a 30-yard touchdown on fourth and 10 to cut the Cayuga lead to 26-24 with three minutes to play in the third quarter.
But Cayuga used the running of Kennedy and Shead to keep the ball on the ground, use up clock, and move down the field on successive drives, with Shead scoring twice in the fourth quarter on 1-yard runs to seal a 38-24 Cayuga win.
Cayuga coach Allison said after the game. “This is a real proud moment for our school and our football team.” Allison was not surprised by the great game Malcome Kennedy had in leading the Wildcats to the state title. “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.”
Added Traylon Shead, “Every time he touches the ball, Malcome is going to do something special.”
For the season, the athletic Kennedy rushed for 2,359 yards and 25 TDs, averaging 11.3 yards each time he carried the ball, and in the playoffs, Kennedy averaged over 210 yards rushing a game with 13 touchdowns.
When Malcome Kennedy and Traylon Shead next suit up it will be as rivals, with Malcome headed to Texas A&M and Traylon to Texas.
Congratulations to Malcome Kennedy and the Cayuga Wildcats on their state championship.