When is a football team in the playoffs without technically having clinched a spot?
When that team is the Hanford Falcons, and all they need to get in is a win Friday at Sunnyside or an Eastmont loss.
Eastmont's foe? Just the fourth-ranked team in the state, the Kamiakin Braves.
Hanford and Eastmont are tied in the CBBN 3A at 3-3 and in fourth place, the final berth into the regional prelude to state. The Falcons beat the Wildcats 23-7 last week, and so own the head-to-head tiebreaker, which means if both teams win or both teams lose, Hanford has the edge.
Now Falcons coach Rob Oram would never take anything for granted, and he no doubt hopes to get into the playoffs on a winning note by beating the Grizzlies at Clem Senn Field.
But Hanford fans know they have about the best insurance policy around if things don't go well at Sunnyside.
Kamiakin is hoping to polish off a second straight unbeaten regular season. The Braves are beating their opponents by an average of 20 points a game.
Moreover, they are stacked to stop the run, allowing a league-low 89.5 yards a carry. Eastmont's only weapon has been its multi-back attack on the ground — the Wildcats are third in the league in rushing, among the worst in passing.
Note: Kennewick, which clinched the No. 2 seed with Friday night's 35-7 win over Southridge, will host the winner of Friday's game between North Central and Mount Spokane, both 2-6 in the Greater Spokane League.