Belfast picked a heck of a time to play its best football game of the year in opening the Eastern Class B playoffs Friday afternoon against Camden Hills on Don Palmer Field.

Unfortunately for the hosts, the Windjammers picked the most inopportune time to play their worst game of the season.

The No. 4 Windjammers (4-5) committed an abundance of turnovers and the No. 5 Lions (5-4) made them pay for nearly every one of them as the visitors thrashed the hosts 50-0 in a rematch of the two squad’s final game of the regular season Oct. 23 in Belfast.

In that game, the Windjammers pulled out a 15-14 victory to wrap up their first home playoff berth.

It turns out the Lions did not care whether they played their first postseason game at home or on the road, they were simply ready to play. And play they did.

The Lions will play at defending state Class B champion and top-seeded Leavitt of Turner, which beat No. 8 Morse of Bath 52-8 in the quarterfinals, in next week’s semifinal round. Belfast fell to the Hornets 55-14 Sept. 18 at Turner, while the Lions earned a 39-12 victory over Morse Oct. 15.

In Friday’s regional quarterfinal playoff game, which was moved forward a day from Saturday due to an already heavy slate of playoff athletic events on tap at Camden Hills, was Belfast’s finest all-around game of the season, according to coach Chris Bartlett.

“I think that all season, this may be the first time that we played a complete game,” said Bartlett. “And that’s what we’ve been preaching all year long. We had the Gardiner game and we were up big at halftime and they came back and made it a game. We’ve had games where we didn’t play well in the first half then we finish them off. But I think we had a really strong game overall and I was proud of the way the boys played.”

“It was tough to watch a game that was 0-0 in the first quarter just completely unravel,” said Camden Hills coach Linwood Downs. “We lost our composure, but hats off to Belfast. They took advantage of our mistakes, they made us pay and they played with a lot of intensity. We were out-coached, out-played, out-everything.”

Friday’s game marked Belfast’s first shutout victory of the year, while it was also the first time Camden Hills had been held scoreless all season.

Windjammer Collin Downs, who has been in and out of the lineup all season and has been plagued with injuries, was to play receiver in Friday’s game with Adam Landwehr and Alex Crans splitting snaps under center. However, Downs tweaked his hamstring early in the contest and did not return.

With one of the Windjammers’ best all-around players on the bench (he also missed Camden Hills’ win over the Lions last week), Belfast quarterback Brad Reed, along with tailbacks Lani Eversage and Dylan Webster, took care of the rest.

Eversage ran rampant over the Camden Hills’ defense, rushing for 212 yards on 20 carries, while hauling in an 18-yard catch and scoring three touchdowns. Webster also rushed for two scores, racking up 137 yards on the ground on 18 carries.

Reed completed 3-of-6 passes for 74 yards and one touchdown for Belfast, while Landwehr and Crans completed one pass each for a combined nine yards for Camden Hills

Jacob Powers rushed for 79 yards on 19 carries to key the Windjammer attack.

Belfast racked up 503 all-purpose yards, 391 of which were gained on the ground. Camden Hills ended the day with 206 all-purpose yards.

After a scoreless first quarter, Reed hit Eversage on about a 15-yard pass play to set up first-and goal at the three-yard line to start the second quarter. Eversage later plunged in from two yards with 10:08 remaining. Eversage also added a two-point conversion rush to put the visitors up 8-0.

The ensuring possession for the Windjammers, Crans rushed for a first down on the first play of the drive, only to fumble the ball on the next play to give Belfast the ball at the 32-yard line. Two plays later, Eversage again hit paydirt on a sweep to the right pylon on a 22-yard touchdown with 8:29 remaining. The two-point conversion try by Webster was denied, which left Belfast with a 14-0 lead.

The turnover was the first of five on the day for Camden Hills.

“Today, I didn’t think our tackling was very strong,” said coach Downs. “We made too many mental mistakes and we fumbled away the ball. When we talked before the game we said we needed to do three things: focus, effort and turnovers. And we didn’t really cause any turnovers and we had plenty of them.”

After a Belfast encroachment penalty on the next Camden Hills’ possession gave the Windjammers a first-and-five, Landwehr threw an interception to Belfast’s Brent Waterman to again give the Lions the ball at midfield with 8:12 remaining.

Belfast then moved down the field on a methodical drive on the ground — including a fourth-and-six conversion on a run by Eversage — and eventually crossed the goal line on a one-yard plunge by Webster with 4:47 remaining. The two-point conversion was stuffed to leave Belfast ahead 20-0.

Camden Hills then turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing drive to give Belfast the ball in Windjammer territory with 2:58 remaining. Two minutes later, after a heavy dose of Eversage and Webster on the ground, as well as a quarterback keeper from Reed, Webster scored on a three-yard touchdown run, while Eversage scored on the two-point conversion with 57.9 remaining.

Landwehr then threw his second interception of the afternoon to Waterman with 30 seconds to play, where Belfast would deliver the back-breaker to the Windjammers.

“I think that definitely [created] a big shift,” said coach Bartlett. “When you’ve got kids like Landwehr and [Jacob] Powers and Crans, they have the ability to score anytime they touch the ball, which makes them very dangerous. So when you’re looking [at a lead like that] at halftime, again, we had a 21-point lead against Gardiner so that doesn’t mean anything in this league.”

The second run of the drive was about a 50-yard gain by Webster to give Belfast the ball on the 40-yard line with 15.3 seconds remaining.

“I ran the play to Dylan and just kind of said ‘O.K, let’s see what we can get,’ ” said Bartlett. “Then when he broke it and got out past the 50 [yard line] so I said ‘O.K. let’s take a shot.’ ”

Reed then went back to pass and found an open Ben Knowlton in the right corner of the end zone. After an Eversage sweep on the two-point try, Belfast led 36-0 heading into halftime.

Eversage scored on a 43-yard run early in the third quarter to put the visitors ahead 42-0 and promptly came through with an interception on defense on the next Camden Hills possession.

The Windjammers finally came up with a stop late in the third quarter, when Reed threw an interception into the end zone, which was made by Dakota Summers.

After failing to get a first down with 1.7 seconds remaining, the ‘Jammers elected to punt. In a bizarre play, Belfast’s Forrest Boynton partially blocked Owen Mahan’s punt, but Camden recovered near its own 40-yard line.

However, the first play of the drive saw Belfast force a fumble, which Lion Peter Kelley scooped up to put the visitors in business. The fumble recovery was Kelley’s second of the game.

Reed shortly thereafter rushed into the endzone on a quarterback keeper from 23 yards out and rushed in the two-point conversion moments later to put the Lions up by 50 points.

Camden Hills looked to be on its way to a touchdown late in the fourth quarter with a first-and-goal opportunity, but fumbled the ball near the goal line to help Belfast preserve the shutout and lopsided playoff victory.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.