The Belfast football team collected its first victory in nearly two years — and beat a defending state champion — to do so on Friday night, Sept. 7.

Facing the Boothbay Region Seahawks, who won the state Class E title a season ago, the Lions held off a late rally by the hosts to post a 26-18 victory.

Lion quarterback Dylan Abbott tossed a 30-yard touchdown to Andrew Akles and got two more on the ground, while Tanner Veilleux also cashed in with a five-yard touchdown rush.

Friday’s win marked the first win for the Lion football program — which went winless last season — since Oct. 21, 2016 — a 26-21 victory over Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft.

Belfast, which led 20-6 at halftime, also capitalized on a pair of turnovers — a long interception return by Jack Hansen — and a turnover late in the fourth quarter which helped seal the Lion victory.

Down eight points, the Seahawk, who include players from Wiscasset High School, charged for a potential tying score, but Lucas Walker forced a fumble — recovered by Nathaniel Porter — to aid Belfast.

In the Maine Principals' Association Heal Point Standings for Class C North, Belfast (1-1, 1.2500 points) is sixth, while Oceanside of Rockland (1-1, 9.3750 points) is first in the 11-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

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