The Belfast football team’s game against Stearns of Millinocket on Friday night, Sept. 20 was important on many levels.

Not only for the Lions — eying an early-season win to stay in the midst of the Class C North high school playoff picture — but for first-year coach Brian Goff, who, as the team’s quarterback in 1990, had never beaten the Minutemen.

Friday night proved eventful for Goff and the Lions as the hosts scored on offense, defense and special teams — and received a yeoman effort from senior running back Isaak Cunningham — as the Lions prowled past the Minutemen by a lopsided 43-12 score.

Cunningham needed only nine carries to amass an eye-popping 197 yards and had touchdown runs of 89, 50 and 33 yards for Belfast. Cunningham also had seven tackles on defense for the Lions.

“I was very pleased with the ground attack, obviously,” said Goff. “We had over 300 yards rushing on the day. What a great game by Isaak Cunningham. "The last time I saw that many rushing yards on that few carries was Lew Dyer Jr. back in ‘89 when he had 220 yards on five carries and three TDs.”

Brian White also had a 33-yard interception return for a touchdown and six solo tackles, while Cole Martin had a 56-yard punt return for a touchdown and was 3-of-3 on extra-point kick attempts on the night.

Goff said it was “great to finally get that monkey off my back," while also adding it was an "important win for the program and my former teammates."

“I was 0-4 in my career, including a heartbreaking 33-32 loss in my senior year in 1990,” said Goff. “That loss stayed with me and my former teammates here at Belfast after all these years.”

In the Maine Principals’ Association Crabtree Point Standings for Class C North, Belfast (2-1108.3667 points) is sixth, while Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield (3-0, 147.8261 points) is first in the 11-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

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