Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Wildcat Stadium, East Wenatchee
2010 records: Hanford 1-5 overall, 1-3 Big Nine 3A; Eastmont 4-2 overall, 4-0 Big Nine 3A.
Last week: The Falcons were shut out 21-0 by Kennewick, and Eastmont’s winning streak hit four with a 23-15 defeat of West Valley.
Last time: Hanford escaped with a 21-14 win on Oct. 9, 2009, though the Wildcats brought a hook-and-ladder play down to the Falcons’ 6 with the clock run out.
• What it means for Hanford
The Falcons are looking for their second win of the season, and they’ll take it anyway they can.
• What it means for Eastmont
It’s homecoming for the school and Senior Night for the Wildcats, so they’ll be focused on giving their fans a positive experience in their final home league game of the season. Eastmont opened up its offense more last week against West Valley, so this contest could see more production from players like receivers Darren Spaeth, John Wehrer, and Reed Jaspers, and receiver/running back Sam Gwinn.
• Key matchups
Cameron Wagar vs. Eastmont defensive line
Wagar is second in the league with 593 rushing yards, but Eastmont has allowed just 543 rushing yards all season long. If Eastmont shuts down Wagar, it will have locked up the key to Hanford’s offense.
Ryan Pierce vs. Hanford
Pierce has done it all this season. The Big Nine 3A player of the month has a league-leading four interceptions from the safety position and is second in the league with 7.2 yards per carry.
— Brent Stecker, World sports writer
EAST WENATCHEE — Homecoming has a whole new feel to it this time around for the Eastmont Wildcats.
Winning will do that for you.
Unlike in previous years, the Wildcats enter their homecoming contest with a perfect league record and plenty still left to play for — namely a league title.
“It’s a big night. It’s Senior Night and homecoming, and we’re playing for something important,” said Eastmont coach Doug McGill, whose Wildcats (4-0 league, 4-2 overall) are tied with Kamiakin atop the Big Nine 3A standings and will host Hanford at 7:30 p.m. Friday in their final home game of the regular season.
The team’s seniors are especially keyed up for the game.
“We have 37 seniors and this is our last game at home, so we know everyone is going to go all out,” said lineman Nolan Haehl. “There’s a lot more hype to this game.”
“We’re a lot more confident,” said linebacker Jay Seabeck.
With players like league MVP favorite Ryan Pierce (four interceptions, eight touchdowns) and leading receiver Darren Spaeth (15 receptions, 245 yards, three touchdowns), the Wildcats aren’t the same team Hanford has seen in previous seasons, said sixth-year Falcons coach Rob Oram.
“I would say that there’s more talent. The offensive line is bigger, stronger, more athletic. It appears the skill positions have more speed, and (quarterback Lucas McGill) is making good decisions,” said Oram, who is 2-2 against Eastmont in his career. “It’s not the schemes. It ain’t the coaches. They’ve got better players.”
Oram said he isn’t anticipating the homecoming atmosphere to change the way Eastmont will play.
“Good teams play well regardless of the situation. Good teams just show up and play well, and I expect them to do that.”
Though the Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak, they’ve concentrated this week on putting a poor second half in their 23-15 win over West Valley last Friday behind them.
“We talked about focus and poise and composure, and we talked a lot about what things we can control,” said Doug McGill. “It was a good teaching tool.”
The Wildcats have a favorable matchup against Hanford, as they are second in the league in defense against the rush (543 yards in six games), and the Falcons rely heavily on the running game.
Running back Cameron Wagar is Hanford’s top offensive player, and is second in the league with 593 yards on the ground this season.
“We have to make sure to stop their running game,” said Haehl.
“The Wagar kid’s real good. It will be a good test for our boys,” McGill said.
Oram said execution will be key for the Falcons on Friday night.
“Our issues on offense have been execution, and I’ll just leave it at that,” he said. “It’s not just the O-line, it’s across the board.
“Basically if they control the line of scrimmage it will be a long game for us.”
Brent Stecker: 661-5222