It’s a simple concept that Hanford coach Brett Jay said he learned in his playing days at River View High School.
Never give up.
“It’s a rivalry game and anything can happen,” said Jay. “We pride ourselves in that setback-comeback situation. I learned it from my coach, Bill Templeton. And I really thought we did it tonight.”
Now Jay has passed it on to his players.
And they needed it on Friday night, after the Falcons blew a 21-7 first-half lead, only to come back and win in the final seconds, beating Richland 34-28 in a Mid-Columbia Conference game at Fran Rish.
It’s just the second time in school history that Hanford has beaten Richland in football. The 2012 season was the only other time it’s happened.
“That’s that setback-comeback mentality,” said Hanford quarterback Easton Wise-Hyde. “That’s a major confidence boost to all of us, beating Richland.”
“It gives our school belief,” said Jay. “It’s been a long road, man. We’ve been grinding, going up against all of those good Richland teams for years.”
When Hanford receiver Jaxon Farrah was closing in on the end zone to start the third quarter on what looked like a 44-yard touchdown play — only to have Richland’s Matt Robinson punch the ball out and through the back of the end zone for a touchback — no one on the Falcons sideline panicked.
Nor did anyone on the Hanford sideline lose their minds when the Bombers scored 21 straight points after that — including a 76-yard Harrison Westover to Ben Fewel TD pass, followed by a 20-yard pick-6 interception return by Richland’s Dawson Palm less than a minute later.
That gave Richland a 28-21 lead with just 5:12 left in the game.
“Our kids played with a lot of pride,” said Richland coach Mike Neidhold. “At halftime, we told them it was a two-play game at that point. We’re not out of it.”
Neither were the Falcons.
“When they got that Pick-6, we didn’t drop our heads,” said Farrah.
In fact, Hanford quarterback Easton Wise-Hyde marched Hanford back down the field to score – Kamari Durmas rushed in from 3 yards out – on a 10-play, 77-yard drive with 2:16 left to play.
Even when the Falcons went for the 2-point conversion and the win, and Wise-Hyde couldn’t get into the end zone — letting Richland keep the lead at 28-27 — Hanford didn’t panic.
Instead, the Falcons defense held Richland to a three-and-out on the ensuing series.
That gave Hanford the ball back at its own 13 yard line, 87 yards away from a score, with 1:47 to play and one timeout left.
Wise-Hyde, using his arm and legs, moved the chains downfield in seven plays to the Richland 13 with 30 seconds left.
That’s when he looked to Farrah again.
The Falcons coaching staff sent a play in. But Wise-Hyde didn’t like what he saw from Richland’s defense.
So he called an audible.
Farrah, lined up on the left, drove off the line of scrimmage and cut hard to the goal posts.
But when he saw the Bombers’ DB covering him cut hard to the post too, he then cut the pattern back out to the left corner of the end zone, where Wise-Hyde’s pass was waiting for him for the winning score with just 22.9 seconds remaining.
“Those two (Wise-Hyde and Farrah) work so well together,” said Jay, whose team (5-3 in MCC play, 6-3 overall) heads to Spokane on Friday to play Gonzaga Prep in a rematch of last year’s 4A regional playoffs.
Some of the game’s offensive numbers were amazing.
The victory overshadowed an incredible performance by Richland’s Fewel, who caught 14 passes from Westover for 235 yards and one TD. Westover finished with 295 passing yards and two TD passes.
But the Falcons had just as impressive numbers.
Wise-Hyde finished with 376 yards on 27-for-36 passing, and four TD passes; Farrah caught 6 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns; and Durmas had a great all-around game, rushing for 153 yards and a score on 20 carries, and adding 6 catches for another 96 yards.
And they have the biggest number they cared about the most: a win over their crosstown rivals.
“It’s our turn to rule the town now,” said Wise-Hyde.
Hanford, earning a 4A regional berth for the second straight season, will meet G-Prep at its own field in Spokane at 6 p.m. Friday. … Richland, which finished 2-6 in MCC play and 3-6 overall, will travel to University this week for a non-league crossover game. Time and date have not been set. … The Falcons defense was pretty balanced, with Gabe Martinez leading the way with 4 tackles (1 for loss) and three pass breakups. Other Hanford leaders were Isaiah Mitchell (interception, 3 tackles, 1 for loss), Konner Oberman (5 tackles), and Amir Deng (3 tackles, 2 pass breakups). … Richland’s defense was led by Aidan Storms, who had 9 tackles and a forced fumble; and Camron Ball, with 8 tackles (2 for losses).
FALCONS 34, BOMBERS 28
Hanford 14 7 0 13 — 34
Richland 7 0 7 14 — 28
R – Marshaun Davis-Copeland 61 run (Joseph Weissenfels kick)
H – Jaxon Farrah 21 pass from Easton Wise-Hyde (Xavier Uvalle kick)
H – Gabe Martinez 11 pass from Wise-Hyde (Uvalle kick)
H – Farrah 32 pass from Wise-Hyde (Uvalle kick)
R – Sterling Roberts 21 pass from Harrison Westover (Weissenfels kick)
R – Ben Fewel 76 pass from Westover (Weissenfels kick)
R – Dawson Palm 20 interception return (Weissenfels kick)
H – Kamari Durmas 3 run (run failed)
H – Farrah 13 pass from Wise-Hyde (Uvalle kick)
RUSHING – Hanford, Durmas 20-153, Wise-Hyde 6-13, Martinez 1-minus 1, Totals 27-165. Richland, Davis-Copeland 15-92, Camron Ball 5-25, Kade Brons 7-20, Cameron Kitchens 1-0, Team 1-minus 10, Totals 29-127.
PASSING – Hanford, Wise-Hyde 27-36-1-376. Richland, Westover 18-33-1-295, Kitchens 3-4-0-33.
RECEIVING – Hanford, Farrah 6-139, Durmas 6-96, Martinez 9-78, Caleb Harvey 2-35, Isaiah Mitchell 4-28. Richland, Fewel 14-235, Roberts 4-56, Ben Kostorowski 1-13, Matt Robinson 1-10, Brons 1-9, Davis-Copeland 1-5.
FIRST DOWNS – Han 29, Rich 20. FUMBLES-LOST – Han 2-1, Rich 1-0. PENALTIES-YARDS – Han 10-87, Rich 10-107.
Chiawana 8-0 MCC, 8-1 overall
Kennewick 7-1, 8-1
Kamiakin 6-2, 7-2
Hanford 5-3, 6-3
Walla Walla 4-4, 5-4
Pasco 3-5, 3-6
Richland 2-6, 3-6
Hermiston 1-7, 1-8
Southridge 0-8, 1-8
Friday, Nov. 1
Chiawana 34, Pasco 0
Hanford 34, Richland 28
Kamiakin 40, Hermiston 7
Kennewick 46, Southridge 13
Walla Walla 28, Wenatchee 21
Friday, Nov. 8
4A regional playoffs
Mead at Chiawana, Edgar Brown Stadium, 6 p.m.
Hanford at Gonzaga Prep, 6 p.m.
3A regional playoffs
Kamiakin at Mt. Spokane, Joe Albi Stadium, 6 p.m.
Shadle Park at Kennewick, Lampson Stadium, 7 p.m.
Dates and times TBA
Ferris at Pasco
North Central at Hermiston
Richland at University
Southridge at Lewis & Clark
Walla Walla at Central Valley
2A CWAC Standings
Ellensburg 4-0 CWAC, 4-4 overall
Othello 3-1, 4-4
East Valley 2-2, 4-4
Ephrata 1-3, 3-6
Quincy 0-4, 4-5
Prosser 4-0, 6-2
Toppenish 3-1, 5-2
Selah 2-2, 3-5
Grandview 1-3, 1-8
Wapato 0-4, 1-8
Friday, Nov. 1
Ephrata 56, Grandview 17
Quincy 55, Wapato 7
Saturday, Nov. 2
Selah vs. Othello (winner to glue crossover games, loser out), 1 p.m.
East Valley vs. Toppenish (winner to glue crossover games, loser out), 4 p.m.
Ellensburg vs. Prosser (both to state), 7 p.m.
SCAC East Standings
Royal 6-0 SCAC, 9-0 overall
Connell 5-1, 6-3
River View 3-3, 6-3
Kiona-Benton 3-3, 5-4
Warden 3-3, 5-4
Wahluke 1-5, 4-5
College Place 0-6, 2-7
Friday, Nov. 1
Connell 30, River View 8
Royal 76, College Place 7
Wahluke 48, Highland 0
Warden 29, Kiona-Benton 18
Monday, Nov. 4
At Royal City
Mini-playoff between Kiona-Benton, River View and Warden, 6 p.m.
EWAC 2B Standings
Columbia-Burbank 6-0 EWAC, 8-1 overall
Tri-Cities Prep 5-1, 8-1
White Swan 4-2, 5-3
Kittitas-Thorp 3-3, 3-5
Liberty Christian 2-4, 3-6
Mabton 1-5, 3-6
Dayton/Waitsburg 0-6, 0-9
Friday, Nov. 1
Columbia-Burbank 51, White Swan 24
Kittitas/Thorp 30, Liberty Christian 0
Manson 26, Mabton 7
Tri-Cities Prep 27, Dayton/Waitsburg 15