WINSLOW — It was a thunder and lightning combination of epic proportions.

Thanks to the power running of Zach Guptill and the speed of Dylan Hapworth, combined with a physically dominant offensive line, the Winslow football team cruised to a 39-14 win over Belfast on Saturday afternoon at Poulin Field in an Eastern Maine Class C semifinal. The top-ranked Black Raiders (8-1), will host rival and No. 2 Waterville (8-1) next Saturday in the regional final.

Guptill, a fullback, and Hapworth, a tailback, combined for 417 of Winslow’s 495 offensive yards Saturday. Hapworth led the duo with 217 yards on 28 carries, while Guptill had 200 yards on 27 carries. They each scored three touchdowns.

There was nothing fancy about the Black Raiders’ offensive attack. Winslow ran their goal-line offense, with eight down linemen, and Guptill, Hapworth and quarterback Bobby Chenard in the backfield for the entire game.

“(Belfast) didn’t know what to do,” Guptill said. “They didn’t catch on to where we were going, and we just pounded it down every time. (The offensive line) is strong. They’re strong. They hit them, stay lower than them and hold their blocks.”

Winslow also ran the offense in a hurry-up mode throughout, keeping the Lions defense off-balance and tired.

“I think we were in better shape than Belfast,” Hapworth said. “I think that’s what it really came down to. We run a lot in practice, we take pride in being in shape. We just want to be in better shape than our opponents.”

Belfast countered with a run-heavy offense of its own. The Lions were led by running back Greg Clark, who ran for 133 yards on 16 carries, including a 68-yard touchown run in the second quarter. Fullback Andrew Goguen added power to the run game, adding 65 yards on eight carries, including a 4-yard score in the third quarter. Belfast finished with 318 offensive yards.

Winslow took the lead in the first quarter when Guptill capped a seven-play, 56-yard drive witha 1-yard touchdown run. He then capped a 12-play, 84-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard TD run in the second quarter to give Winslow a 12-0 lead.

Belfast (6-4) made it 12-7 before the half when Clark scored ona 64-yard run.

“We were extremely sloppy in the first half, we left two or three touchdowns there in the first half and this time of the year, you can’t do that,” Winslow coach Mike Siviski said. “We kind of said at halftime there’s nothing you can really do in the second half but go out and play. Our offensive line did a great job and our ground game was really tough.”

Winslow scored on the first posession of the second half, going deep into Belfast territory before Hapworth took a handoff and darted left and into the end zone on a 9-yard touchdown run to give the Black Raiders an 18-7 lead.

The Lions answered right back on the next series. Goguen took a handoff up the middle for 35 yards, setting Belfast up on the Winslow 5-yard line. Goguen scored on the next play.

The fourth quarter was all Winslow, with Guptill running for a 4-yard score and Hapworth a 5-yard score to close out the game.

The passing game was barely utilized Saturday. Belfast quarterback Zach Collier was 5 of 17 passing for 108 yards, while Chenard was 2 of 6 for 38 yards.

The Black Raiders and Purple Panthers met on Oct. 26 in Waterville, a game that Waterville won 25-21.

“It’ll be tough, it always is,” Siviski said of next week’s game. “I’m sure they’ll be ready and so will we.”

Dave Dyer — 621-5639[email protected]Twitter: @Dave_Dyer

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