BETHEL - The Cayuga Wildcats may not have been able to ask for a better start to the playoffs.
Cayuga opened the postseason with a 64-21 win over Beckville Friday night in the Class A-Region III, Division II, bi-district game at Bullard High School.
"This was good confidence for us to start like this," Cayuga head coach Tommy Allison said Saturday afternoon. "The kids played extremely well on both sides of the ball."
Cayuga advances to the area round to face Simms Bowie for the second straight year. The game will be at 7:30 p.m. at Spring Hill High School in Longview.
Cayuga (10-1) scored early and often getting touchdowns on eight of its first nine drives and taking a 42-7 halftime lead. By midway through the third quarter, the Wildcats were able to get most of their bench involved in the game.
"To get everyone in the game and participate is going to help us," Allison said. "It will help in practice with the scout team giving a great effort."
Cayuga got out of the gate very quickly, scoring on its first play of the game when Malcome Kennedy found a diving Billy Duncan in the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown pass.
"Being the first play of the game, it brought attention that we could go over the top," Allison said. "That helped loosen up the defense against the run."
The running game took over as Traylon Shead gave the lead for good at 14-7, when he scored on a 39-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.
On the next drive, Malcome Kennedy used a 27-yard run to get into Beckville territory and then on the first play of the second quarter, Kennedy faked to Shead and then kept the ball around the right end for a 22-yard touchdown run. The touchdown started a 28-point second quarter for the Wildcats as they started to pull away.
Kennedy had a 60-yard touchdown after he faked a pitch to Shead and then went untouched to the end zone for a 28-7 lead with eight minutes to play in the half.
Then Shak Jenkins intercepted a pass for a touchdown and with 20 seconds left in the half, Shead scored on a 1-yard run to give the Wildcats a 42-7 lead.
Cayuga ran 21 plays in the first half, racking up 315 yards of offense.
"Our offensive line did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage," Allison said. "And then we have two really good backs who kept doing what they have done all year long."
Shead had a game-high 173 yards on 15 carries and scored three touchdowns. Kennedy had 162 rushing yards on just seven carries as he averaged 23 yards a carry.
Along with rushing for two touchdowns, Kennedy threw for two more scores - both going to Duncan.
While the offense was scoring at will against Beckville, the defense was making things very tough for the Bearcats, who only scored once against Cayuga's first team.
The Cayuga defense forced five interceptions including three by Duncan and one by Jenkins where he returned 32 yards for a touchdown.
"We were able to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback and put him in a tough position to throw," Allison said. "Then our secondary guys did a good job getting their hands on the football."