Published November 30, 2012
Tumwater's road to the Dome: Was the "Bouquet Toss" game a turning point for the youthful T-Birds? (w/video)
TUMWATER -- The agonizing pain Jaimie Bryant fell in his lower back was as instantaneous as his teammates celebration.It was Sept. 22 at Ingersoll Stadium, inside 3 minutes left in regulation in what turned out to be Tumwaters wild 35-28 double-overtime win over then No. 1-ranked Capital. Lying on his back in the end zone, Bryant just caught a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Jayden Croft in whats been labeled as The Bouquet Toss when Croft, with his back turned to the play after taking the snap from center, flipped the football over his head and a leaping 6-foot-5 Bryant went up for the grab. Bryant comes down hard on his back, but he hangs on to the football. Tie ballgame at 21-all. Moments earlier, Bryant had his fourth catch of the game for a 4-yard touchdown that eventually set up game-tying two-point conversion that drew national attention on Deadspin and ESPN and has more than a half-million views on YouTube.I remember going up and holding onto the ball for dear life, Bryant said, and (my back) hurt immediately. Tumwater went onto beat the Cougars, as Bryant watched from the sideline for the rest of regulation and the two overtimes; his back too badly hurt to return or even play in the following weeks 21-20 win over W.F. West. But that win over the Cougars in the teams 2A Evergreen Conference opener made for a big turning point in the T-Birds season. And now, No. 4-ranked Tumwater will face second-ranked Lynden for the Class 2A state title today at 1 p.m. at the Tacoma Dome, looking for its second state title in the past three seasons and sixth overall in school history. After Capital, senior linebacker David Durden said, that boosted a lot of our guys up.Reporter's note: Read the rest of Meg Wochnick's feature story on Jaimie Bryant in Saturday's Olympian.
Class 2A state title game
NO. 2 LYNDEN (12-1) vs. NO. 4 TUMWATER (12-1)
1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, Tacoma Dome