The phrase “unfinished business” permeated the Belfast Area High School football team’s sideline against Foxcroft Academy Friday night, Nov. 1 in the Lions' Eastern Class C quarterfinal playoff game.

After the No. 5 Lions' performance at Oakes Field against the No. 4 Ponies, it was defending state Class C champion Foxcroft Academy's season that went belly up.

The Lions held the Ponies scoreless through three quarters and got three touchdowns from senior tailback Greg Clark as the visitors doubled up Foxcroft Academy 26-13.

Click for photos from this game.

Belfast (6-3) moves on to the regional semifinals where it will play at No. 1 Winslow (7-1) on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. The Lions lost to the Black Raiders 26-12 in the teams' only regular-season matchup Sept. 7 in Winslow.

Foxcroft Academy’s season ended at 5-4.

The Lions and Ponies played a classic earlier in the season with Foxcroft Academy picking up a 28-27 win Sept. 20 in Dover-Foxcroft during the host’s homecoming celebration.

On Friday night, it was Belfast who celebrated on the Ponies’ field.

“All week we’ve been saying we felt like we had unfinished business up here,” said Belfast coach Chris Bartlett. “We take nothing away from them and their win earlier in the season. They played hard in the second half, and we didn’t. We were still trying to figure out [who we were] and we still had some young guys still trying to figure out what 48 minutes of football was all about.”

Friday's game was not as close as the score indicates as Foxcroft Academy’s Hunter Smith returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown with 11.1 seconds remaining with the game already well in hand for Belfast.

Greg Clark rushed for 247 yards on 19 carries and scored on runs of 85, 30 and 57 yards for the Lions.

“I knew I was going to get the ball and get some big carries, but just to have a game like that is great,” said Clark. “I couldn’t do it without our [offensive] line. If they don’t block for me I’m dead in the backfield every time.”

Perhaps more impressively is Clark did not practice all week after suffering a strained medial collateral ligament (MCL) during the team’s regular-season finale against Camden Hills.

“We took it easy on him this week,” said Bartlett. “We had a trainer look at him. But he’s a gamer.”

Zach Collier was 4-of-7 for 60 yards and one touchdown at quarterback, completing a 24-yard touchdown pass to Tyer Tran, who finished with two catches for 37 yards, for BAHS.

Pete Boyer had a 1-yard touchdown run for the Ponies to go along with Smith’s punt return.

The Lion defense also dug in its heels and had a terrific game against the Ponies offense, led by quarterback Forrest Law and receiver Hunter Smith, along with running backs Boyer and Peter Bjornson.

Belfast held the hosts twice on fourth-down plays inside the five-yard line, one of which saw Law scamper on a fourth-and-goal before he got stopped at the one-yard line in the third quarter.

That key stop set up a 99-yard Lion touchdown drive, spearheaded by an 85-yard run by Clark.

The senior tailback found daylight through the defense and was nearly caught by Smith before scampering to paydirt.

“He tipped the heel of my cleats,” said Clark. “But I was able enough to get my recovery on my left foot on the cleat he didn’t tip. I kept my balance and I was able to get in the end zone.”

The Lion defense also forced and recovered two fumbles in the second half.

“The defense has done great,” said Bartlett. “[Defensive coordinator] Rick [Kelley] has done a great job with them. The young kids that we’ve needed to have stepped up and filled their roles very nicely.”

The visitors were also 3-for-3 on fourth-down conversions, two of which came in the first quarter on the game’s first drive.

Collier on a fourth-and-3 threw a play-action pass to Tran on the game’s first possession. Belfast led 7-0 after Ashley Littlefield’s extra point and held that same lead at halftime.

“The fourth-down plays were obviously clutch,” said Bartlett. “Then that touchdown pass, I honestly didn’t think that was going to work. I was actually looking for somebody else on that pass.”

The Lions then led 20-0 after three quarters on runs of 30 and 57 yards by Clark, respectively.

Now the Lions turn their attention to Winslow as they hope to knock off the team that lost to the Ponies in last year’s state Class C title game.

Bartlett said the Lions do not plan to game plan any differently than they have all year.

“They’re Winslow,” he said. “They’ve got good leaders. Those kids will be prepared [and] they were here scouting us tonight. We’ll prepare for them just like we would any other team and go down there and get after that.”

Belfast has outscored opponents 282-143, with one shutout, in nine games this season. Winslow, which received a first-round playoff bye, outscored foes 312-114, with one shutout. The Black Raiders won their first seven regular-season games, but lost to No. 2 and across-the-river rival Waterville 25-21 in the season finale.