Forget the wild intramural TD pass at Purdue. Forget Nate Washington's over the back TD grab. You want the football play of the year? It came on a two point conversion in a high school game, where a team used an over the head, back-to-the goal pass to a leaping tight end to knot up a game and send it to overtime. The result was a play which has since been dubbed a "wedding bouquet" pass and is destined to go down in trick play lore.
The action unfolded in Washington State, where Tumwater (Wash.) High was facing off against highly-ranked Olympia (Wash.) Capital High. In a tight game, Tumwater quarterback Jayden Croft connected with tight end Jamie Bryant on a 4-yard touchdown grab with just under 3:00 remaining. The grab brought Tumwater within two-points at 21-19, setting up a two-point conversion to tie the game or, in all likelihood, seal a loss.
The resulting play was one of the gutsiest, most bizarre calls anyone could imagine. Tumwater coach Sid Otton called for a trick play on which Croft would toss up the ball with his back to goal, putting it in play on the goal line and hoping that the 6-foot-5 Bryant, a Washington commit, would get up to catch it.
Keep in mind: This play was no fluke. From the snap to the catch, Tumwater's game-tying 2-point conversion was designed to play out exactly as it did. The fact that Otton had the gusto to call it with the game on the line is nothing short of remarkable. Without doubt, this was the weirdest play of the year ... it just happened to work.
In fact, the play unfolded just as Otton dreamed it would, with Croft taking a clean snap, turning his back as if he was going to hand off the ball and then flinging it up in the air. It sailed cleanly toward Bryant, who elevated and muscled his way to a game-tying catch, sending Tumwater and its fans into delirium while Capital looked on, stunned.
"Jaimie was awesome," Otton told The Olympian. "If you get [that two-point conversion play] wrong, you're just a dumb coach, which I can take. But if you get it right, it's such a big momentum changer."
In fact, the momentum gained from the conversion may have paved the way for a monumental upset, too. The Thunderbirds entered overtime with renewed confidence and carried that into double overtime, where Tumwater finally outlasted favored Capital to escape with a 35-28 upset victory.
A variety of stats from the game will remain notable for some time to come -- among them, the fact that Tumwater had -4 yards of offense at halftime, yet still managed to score 35 points and win by game's end -- yet nothing will ever overshadow that magical two-point conversion. Even newly-minted intramural legends in Indiana would have to admit that much.
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