Ponies rally, gallop past Lions in exciting gridiron affairBAHS had defending state Class C champs on ropes before lead slips away
Dover-Foxcroft — The Belfast Area High School football game with Foxcroft Academy on Friday night, Sept. 20 will be one the Lions and coach Chris Bartlett will not soon forget.
Having led 21-6 at Oakes Field and on the doorstep of knocking off the defending state Class C champions in a tough road game, the Lions let the Ponies back into the game and the hosts emerged as 28-27 victors in front of their homecoming crowd.
“Oakes Field is not an easy place to go into and get a win,” said Bartlett. “We put ourselves in the position to do that we just didn't finish the game. Hats off to Foxcroft Academy because at one point they were down 21-6 and never gave up. They just kept coming at us.”
Greg Clark ran for 160 yards on 16 carries, and rushed for two touchdowns, while Tyler Tran had two catches for 92 yards, including a 71-yard scoring catch in the second quarter and a 21-yard TD catch in the third quarter.
Quarterback Zach Collier was 6-of-9 for the Lions, amassing 141 yards through the air and two touchdowns, along with one interception.
Leading 21-6 late in the first half, the Ponies scored on a 9-yard touchdown run from Corey Bjornson, which Bartlett said changed the complexion of the game.
“We really dominated the first half and giving up that TD with seconds to go before half time really hurt,” the coach said. “It gave them momentum going into the half and with a team like FA you can't allow them to get any sort of momentum going.”
Foxcroft Academy outscored Belfast 16-6 over the final 24 minutes.
The Lions took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on an 8-yard touchdown run by Clark and Tran's 71-yard TD reception.
Hunter Law later scored on a 1-yard plunge for the Ponies before Clark scored his second touchdown of the game on a 66-yard scamper to put Belfast ahead 21-6.
Foxcroft Academy pulled within 21-20 on a punt return for touchdown and two-point conversion by Pete Boyer, but Belfast refused to quit as Collier and Tran hooked up a second time on a touchdown throw-and-catch to put the visitors in front 27-20.
Bjornson then scored on a 9-yard run, while Boyer rushed in the two-point conversion to give the Ponies their first and only lead of the game.
Boyer rushed for 120 yards, two touchdowns and two two-point conversions, while Bjornson rushed for 103 yards and two scores for the Ponies.
“Overall, it was a great game by both teams and one of those games that it was too bad someone had to lose because both teams played extremely well [and] it was very entertaining,” said Bartlett. “I am very proud of our kids, they came out and played with a lot of heart and probably the best thing we got out of this was their reactions after the game.”
“They were very disappointed and knew we let one slip out of our hands, [but] the talk was about getting better during practice and working harder and that is what it takes to get to the top.”
In the Maine Principals' Association Crabtree Point Standings for Eastern Class C, Belfast (1-2, 78.7545 points) is eighth, while Foxcroft Academy (2-0, 152.1739 points) is first in the 10-team region. Foxcroft Academy's win over Old Town has yet to be reported in the Crabtree Point Standings.
The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs. Camden Hills and Nokomis of Newport, both which petitioned down to Eastern Class C this season, are ineligible for postseason play.
Associate Sports Director
594-4401, ext. 116
Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
Recent Stories by Mark Haskell
Dec 04, 2013
Dec 03, 2013
Nov 25, 2013
Nov 04, 2013
Oct 30, 2013