TUMWATER — It was barely within 10 degrees of freezing Friday night. It was just cold enough for Snow.
Junior running back Tyrus Snow had two highlight-reel touchdowns among his four scores, and Tumwater High School’s defense kept an entertaining Sehome offense mostly in check. By the end, the bundled-up fans at Tumwater Stadium had seen a lot of football and a 52-22 Tumwater victory in a Class 2A playoff game.
The Thunderbirds (11-0) move on to a quarterfinal matchup next weekend against White River in Buckley. Sehome, of Bellingham and the Northwest Conference, finished its season at 5-6.
Snow rushed for 171 yards on 11 carries, and backfield chum Christian Cummings gained 173 on 11 totes. Tumwater rushed for 435 yards, 495 total.
“My dad would always tell me to be quick,” Snow said. “Speed
will always come with being quick.”
On Tumwater’s first possession, Snow was part of the wall of blockers escorting Cummings as he turned the left corner and cruised untouched down the sideline for a 71-yard touchdown.
The T-Birds got a lucky bounce on their next possession after a second straight Sehome punt. Cummings gained 20 on another power sweep to the same side, then took a pitch on a similar play, this time to the right, and squirted 29 yards to the Mariners’ 3 before fumbling. Teammate Dayton Newell fell on the ball in the back of the end zone.
If it looked like the rout was on, Sehome didn’t get the memo, climbing right back into the game on an 81-yard touchdown pass from Daniel Ziegler to fleet sophomore Taylor Rapp.
Tumwater made it 21-6 on a seven-play drive kept alive by a 15-yard completion on 4th-and-9 from Jayden Croft to Easton Trakel. Croft kept up the middle for 10 more before Snow bounced off tacklers at the line of scrimmage and angled left into the end zone for a 12-yard TD.
After another Sehome punt, the T-Birds needed two plays to cover 66 yards to the end zone. Croft found Treakel for 15 yards before Snow snaked through a minefield of defenders, stiff-arming the last Mariner with a chance at the 15, on a 48-yard touchdown run.
Sehome earned a safety late in the first half when Croft, attempting to pass from his end zone, was flagged for intentional grounding.
On the second play from scrimmage after the second-half kickoff, Snow took a handoff and zigged when Mariner tacklers zagged, and completed the 38-yard TD run with barely a clean hit on him.
The goal is to “run for butts,” Snow explained: “They can’t tackle you when they’re facing you.”
After Tumwater’s Tanner Angel fell on a Sehome fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Croft hit Griffin Shea for 15 yards, and one play later
Elijah Hill, perfect on six extra-point kicks, kicked a 19-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The talented Ziegler called his own number on a number of dynamic runs, including an 80-yard sprint to the end zone nullified by penalty. And he kept slinging, finally finding Gabriel Weight on a 20-yard TD throw in the third quarter as the Mariners made it 45-15.
Ziegler was 9 for 19 for 167 passing yards, and gained 83 yards on 16 carries.
Sehome closed to 45-22 in the fourth quarter when Tyler Hruby blocked a Tumwater punt, plucked the ball out of the air and rambled 25 yards to the end zone.
Sophomore Dominic Jones earned the last Tumwater points on a 19-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter.
Snow said he likes the path his team is taking through the playoffs: “If we can just play our own game, then state’s ours.”