RICHLAND -- It isn't often a football coach is happy that his home crowd is dreadfully bored.
On Friday, though, Hanford's Rob Oram was just that, commenting to those around him that the silence meant his team was just running the clock out with the score in hand.
The Falcons grounded and pounded their way to a 23-6 CBBN 3A victory against visiting Eastmont at Fran Rish Stadium.
"Our adjustments at halftime were to really run what we do best," Oram said, "instead of focusing on how to take advantage of what the defense was giving us."
The Falcons (3-2 league, 3-4 overall) did just that after halftime.
Isaac Benard, finally healthy after getting hurt against Pasco three weeks ago, took the first play after the break 67 yards to the house.
"It was just running and looking for the holes," Benard said. "I've got to give it up to the linemen for doing good."
Oram agreed, pointing out that Joe Douglas and Jared Miller are their two best linemen and when they are on, Hanford expects to do well.
Benard's touchdown put Hanford on top 16-6 with just 16 seconds gone in the second half.
The Falcons defense then forced a punt, after Zack Gaston sacked Eastmont's Lucas McGill.
Hanford then got busy putting the crowd to sleep.
Led by Benard and Tyler Sanchez, the Falcons went on a 13-play, 53-yard drive that chewed up 6 minutes, 47 seconds off the clock.
Quarterback Austin Forsyth capped the drive, hitting Jake Oram on a slant for a 12-yard touchdown pass and a 23-6 lead with 1:39 left in the third quarter.
The victory also makes it so Hanford controls its own playoff destiny, taking a one-game lead over Eastmont and a two-game lead over Sunnyside for the final playoff spot.
"That is really important," Sanchez said. "It would mean a lot to go to the playoffs for all of us seniors."
With the scoring complete, the Falcons then went to work defensively forcing a fumble -- recovered by Nate McGehee -- and playing field-position football, as punter Kyle Lafon consistently gave the Wildcats poor field position.
"We have a pretty talented defensive line," Oram said, "and some strong leaders in the secondary. (Jake Oram) does a good job getting us in the right defense and making the right calls."
The Falcons forced two fumbles and intercepted two passes, allowing no points. The lone Eastmont TD came on an interception return.
Benard finished with 203 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns. He also had a 65-yard scoring run in the first quarter.
Hanford 23, Eastmont 6
Eastmont 0 6 0 0 -- 6
Hanford 7 2 14 0 -- 23
H--Isaac Benard 65 run (Will Bishop kick)
E--Trenton Osborn 71 interception return (kick blocked)
H--Benard 67 run (Bishop kick)
H--Jake Oram 12 pass from Austin Forsyth (Bishop kick)
RUSHING--E, Darin Hardgrove 5-51, Lucas McGill 14-34, Berlie Walker 7-32, Josh Woodward 2-12, Aaron Moncayo 1-4, Zach Scott 1-0. H, Benard 24-203, Tyler Sanchez 9-29, Bishop 6-29, Doug Aldridge 3-2, Brennan Rains 1-(-5), team 2-(-17).
PASSING--E, McGill 6-17-2--72. H, Forsyth 3-5-1--25, Rains 1-4-1--7.
RECEIVING--E, Dalin McDonnell 3-58, Scott 1-14, Walker 1-3, Hardgrove 1-(-3). H, Oram 3-27, Sanchez 1-5.
FIRST DOWNS--E, 10; H, 10. FUMBLES-LOST--E, 3-3; H, 2-0. PENALTIES-YARDS--E, 3-20; H, 6-40.