High school athletic events between longtime Waldo County rivals usually prove fun, intense affairs, but that scenario is elevated a notch when the Lions and Mustangs lock horns on the football field.

That was never more evident than Saturday afternoon at sweltering Larrabee Field. Despite humid, 80-degree temperatures, Belfast and Mount View battled toe-to-toe in a preseason exhibition game in front of a large crowd.

The game, which raised about $1,000 for breast cancer awareness and research, was highly competitive, with Belfast scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown to win 20-14. The game was tied 14-14 after three quarters, while the Lions led 14-8 at halftime.

The game always pits family members against one another and usually is competitive, for no other reason than it is for county high school football bragging rights.

One person who has a unique perspective on the Lion-Mustang athletic rivalry is Mark Babin, athletic director at BAHS and whose son, Jalen, is a senior quarterback for Mount View.

Babin said when watching any athletic events, even those that include his school and his son’s team, he simply wants to see a competitive contest and no injuries suffered by the student-athletes. However, he did point out that with many relatives squaring off on the field, especially cousins, the football games between the Lions and Mustangs usually are more intense because there are family and county bragging rights on the line.

On Saturday, both teams made a bundle of nice plays, from strong runs to accurate passes to sturdy defensive stops, including several interceptions. Mount View had one pretty long pass play for a touchdown called back due to a penalty.

Saturday’s game also was made more meaningful due to the fact that for the second straight year, the teams squared off on the gridiron in an attempt to make a difference in the health of women.

While the two football squads compete in different classes and leagues, Mount View and Belfast annually meet in a preseason game to help raise money to promote breast cancer awareness and research. Last year, the game was played at Belfast Area High School.

A portion of the game proceeds went to local breast cancer research. The players on the teams wore pink socks and wristbands and the coaches wore pink shirts to draw attention to their support for research and treatment of breast cancer.

The Mount View cheerleaders also wore pink and let everyone know, with the message on their shirts, that they “fight like girls.”

For Belfast, Carl Dodge scored on a 60-yard pass from quarterback Zach Collier, while Mike McFadden caught a 15-yard touchdown pass and Jake Campbell found the end zone on a 5-yard run. McFadden, Kyle Culbertson and Campbell all had interceptions.

“It’s been a long time since there have been two football teams in the area and to be able to have a rivalry like that makes for good football in the Midcoast,” said Belfast coach Chris Bartlett. “There’s a true underlying cause for [this game] and to be able to help out the Susan G.Komen Foundation is just unbelievable. There’s a rivalry between the two schools, but when push comes to shove, everyone can come together for a good cause. Hopefully it’s a tradition that not only continues, but gets stronger and stronger as we go along.”

Jalen Babin and Jake Blanchette both scored for Mount View, Blanchette on a fullback trap from about 18 yards and Babin on a quarterback keeper from about 12 yards.

“I was very proud of the way our team played,” said Mount View coach Jack Brady. “We’ve taken a big step forward, but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s great to play that well against a team like Belfast, an in-county rival that we have a lot of respect for, and for them to be willing to take this date along with us and come together for breast cancer research.”

Belfast competes in Pine Tree Conference Class B and Mount View in Little Ten Conference Class C.

Belfast opens the regular season at Gardiner on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m., while Mount View begins the campaign by hosting Stearns of Millinockett on Saturday, Sept. 3 at 1 p.m.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@villagesoup.com.