TURNER – You think it doesn’t make much difference when a high school football game is postponed from Friday to Saturday night? For Leavitt defensive captain Josh Levesque, it almost spelled the difference between putting his mitts around Belfast ball carriers and preparing five-course meals.

“His parents own The Sedgley Place,” explained Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway. “When we found out the game was rained out, he told me they had 175 guests at the restaurant tonight and that he didn’t know if he and his brother (Peter, a starting left guard) could play. I told him to tell his folks that I would pay whatever amount of money it took and to make sure they found somebody else to work for those two guys.”

Belfast probably wishes Levesque had been slicing prime rib instead of carving up the Lions’ usually potent offense. Levesque sacked quarterback Jake Arthers twice and led a Leavitt defensive charge that shut out Belfast in the second half of a pivotal 20-8 Eastern Class B Hornets victory at Libby Field.

Evan Barker rushed for 92 yards and all three touchdowns for Leavitt (3-2). The junior quarterback also completed 7-of-8 passes for 90 yards.

Halfway through the Pine Tree Conference campaign, the relatively young Hornets were waiting for a defining victory in which both their offense and defense showed up and fulfilled their potential. This was it.

“We knew this game was a season-breaker,” Levesque said. “Every game is a season-breaker at this point.”

Travis Lee rushed for a game-high 115 yards for Belfast, including a 5-yard TD run that gave the Lions an 8-7 halftime lead.

Belfast (2-3) entered the game averaging 40 points per contest, but the three-headed monster backfield of Lee, Arthers and Jon Walsh couldn’t dominate a Leavitt defensive unit that has now allowed only one touchdown in its last eight quarters.

That streak began with a 2-0 victory at Maranacook last Saturday, a sub-par showing the Hornets were determined to forget.

“This is no comparison,” Levesque said.

Leavitt erased the memories of that offensive quagmire by scoring on its second series of the night. Barker led the Hornets on am 11-play, 81-yard march. Tyler Millett, Tyler Green, Craig McCann and Barker all chalked up first downs in the four-minute parade, culminating in a 4-yard keeper by Barker. R.J. Richardson kicked the extra point.

Tyler Bowen sacked Barker and forced a fumble early in the second quarter to set up Belfast’s lone scoring drive. Arthers ran 21 yards on an option play to roll up a big chunk of the yardage, and Lee finished it with a surge off right tackle.

He also rushed for the two-point conversion.

Seven straight runs by Lee pushed the ball deep into Leavitt territory to christen the third quarter, but Chris Hill and Kolby Youland converged to stuff the senior on fourth-and-2 at the Leavitt 32 to halt the Lions on downs.

Tyler Green (16 carries, 101 yards) ran 20 yards on Leavitt’s ensuing carry. Barker later hit Millett (6 catches, 77 yards) for a 14-yard gain on fourth-and-5 to extend the drive. Green bounced right for seven more, and Barker found the end zone from there for a 4-yard TD and a 13-8 lead with 2:49 left in the third.

“He’s a lot like Tyler Angell last year,” Hathaway said of his quarterback. “He’s gritty. He makes the tough plays, and he’s smart back there. He’s a leader.”

Belfast’s next drive stalled on downs at the Leavitt 40, with Kyle Youland and Jeff Newton putting the hit on Arthers to freeze that excursion. Leavitt fed the Lions’ defense a steady diet of Green and Barker down the stretch, with the QB lugging it in for a 1-yard TD with 8:46 to play.

The win solidified Leavitt’s Eastern B playoff hopes with road tests at Waterville (5-0) and Gardiner (4-1) ahead.

“We played a complete game as a team,” Levesque said. “Everybody picked each other up out there. People weren’t pointing fingers at each other.”

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