High school football

Belfast ends season winless, looks to future success

By Staff | Nov 09, 2017

Belfast — The Belfast football team’s season wound to a close on Friday night, Oct. 20 on the road as the Lions were dealt a 67-26 defeat by Oceanside of Rockland/Thomaston.

The Lions finished the fall campaign 0-8 and out of the Class C North playoff picture.

Belfast coach Chris Bartlett admitted “the year didn’t go as planned, but that is coaching.”

“Not every year is a championship year, even when you think you might be,” he said. “I am proud how the guys stuck together and fought to the very end. This was the youngest team I have coached, but the experience will pay off for them. They just need to make sure they take the lessons they learned from this year and apply them in the future.”

This year’s Belfast team featured nine seniors, eight juniors, nine sophomores and 13 freshmen. Many of the underclassmen saw significant playing time on the gridiron for the Lions.

Oceanside, which clinched the No. 5 seed in the region and knocked off No. 4 Hermon in the quarterfinals — and then lost to No. 1 MDI in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 3 — scored the first 53 points of the regular-season finale and never looked back.

Belfast got on the board late in the second quarter when Dylan Abbott connected on a 38-yard touchdown pass with Donovin Armstrong.

Abbot was 8-of-18 under center for Belfast for 87 yards with the lone touchdown pass to Armstrong, while Isaak Cunningham (6 rushes for 70 yards, touchdown), Jacob Waterman (6 rushes for 27 yards), Tanner Veilleux (2 rushes for 10 yards, 4 catches, 12 yards), Jon Schmitt (2 rushes for 21 yards), Armstrong (rush for 8 yards, 2 catches for 56 yards), Grey Dinsmore (2 catches for 19 yards), and Konnor Harford (rush for 2 yards) also chipped in on offense.

Brian White also returned a fumble 59 yards for a touchdown for the Lions.

Leading the Mariners was Michael Norton Jr., who finished with 221 yards on seven carries and scored four touchdowns. Ben Ripley added 116 yards on eight carries, with two TDs. Zach Cody also had 61 yards on two carries, including a 62-yard scoring run.

Bartlett said commitment to the weight room in the offseason will be paramount to the team’s success and many of the mistakes this season were due to inexperience — something he does not foresee in 2018.

“They will either not make the same mistakes next year or they will be limited,” he said. “This is a great group of guys and I am proud of how they handled themselves throughout a tough season.”

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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