The No. 5 Belfast football team certainly was scheduled to have its work cut out for it them Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., as the Lions were to travel to Turner to face the top-seeded Hornets of Leavitt in the Eastern Class B semifinals.

However, Friday’s game was pushed to Saturday and will now have a kickoff time of 2 p.m. The game will now be held at a neutral site at the Kents Hill School in Readfield.

Leavitt’s field in Turner currently has standing water on it and would not be suitable for play Friday or Saturday, resulting in the venue change. The field at Kents Hill also does not have lights, thus making Saturday’s game an afternoon affair optimal.

The Hornets are not only the defending state Class B champions, but also have not lost a game in more than two seasons.

They also have had the Lions’ number the past two seasons, outscoring BAHS 165-28 over their previous three meetings — including a 55-14 loss in week three of the regular season this fall.

The road ahead is indeed a daunting one for Belfast, despite the fact the Lions are playing their best football of the season and appear to be hitting their stride at the right time.

Despite falling 15-14 to Camden Hills at home to end the regular season, the Lions have won four of their last five contests heading into Friday’s regional semifinal. That win streak included a payback game against the No. 4 Windjammers Oct. 29 in the quarterfinal playoff round. Belfast blanked Camden Hills 50-0 in Rockport, while the host Hornets dismantled the No. 8 Morse Shipbuilders of Bath 52-8 in the first round.

While many teams would try and change schemes in an effort to keep up with an opponent like the Hornets, Belfast coach Chris Bartlett said the Lions plan to do what has helped them be successful all season — namely, run the football.

“We are going to keep doing the same thing we have been doing,” he said. “It is what has got us here. Sometimes I think people change things too much in order to try to be successful and in the end it ends up working against you because you change everything your kids have been used to all year. We made a few adjustments in the things that we are doing, but again we need to keep it simple so our guys can go out and just play football and not have to think a lot.”

Lion senior tailbacks Lani Eversage and Dylan Webster figure to shoulder a bulk of the load Friday, with both backs having sensational games against the Windjammers in the quarterfinals.

This season, Eversage has rushed for 974 yards and racked up 522 receiving yards, while finding the end zone 16 times. Webster has 850 rushing yards on the season and 10 scores. The duo rushed for a combined five touchdowns against the ‘Jammers and amassed more than 300 yards combined on the ground.

Eversage also leads the team in tackles with 72, along with two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Webster also has 49 tackles, one forced fumble and 1.5 quarterback sacks. Also chipping in with fine seasons on defense this year for Belfast were Adam Heroux (50 tackles, fumble recovery, sack) and Nahsic Oliphant (64 tackles).

Quarterback Brad Reed has thrown for 872 yards and rushed for another 340, while running in four touchdowns.

The Hornets, however, can score in bunches, as they have amassed 369 points this season through nine games, including averaging 41 points. And the favored hosts could well reach that average — and perhaps beyond — if the Lions are not prepared.

Despite the eventual outcome of Friday’s game, Bartlett said his team will need to control the tempo, contain the Hornets’ offense and create turnovers if the Lions hope to pull off the upset.

“[The Hornets] have a lot of weapons offensively so we just need to play solid defense all-around,” the coach said.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at