ROCKLAND — It always is special when area high school athletic rivals Medomak Valley and Oceanside face off and perhaps nothing is more exciting, or the atmosphere more electric, than when the Panther and Mariner football teams battle.

That was the case on Friday night, Oct. 22 at Wasgatt Field as the Class B North teams went helmet-to-helmet and pad-to-pad — in front of a large, charged crowd — as Medomak Valley built a 12-0 halftime cushion en route to a 20-7 regular season-ending win.

Oceanside and Medomak Valley square off. Photo by Ken Waltz

The victory may have assured the Panthers the top spot in the Class B North playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Mariners have been stuck between a rock and hard place most of the fall, with fits and starts due to COVID-19 issues and protocols. Oceanside has been unable to get into a weekly rhythm and that showed at times on Friday, while the Panthers appear a well-oiled machine.

For the Panthers on Friday, the two-headed running monster that is Hayden Staples (25 carries for 150 yards, touchdown) and Levi Ward (20 carries for 147 yards, touchdown) keyed the visitors. Liam Wilson also had a six-yard touchdown run and Jacob Craig a two-point conversion catch.

Aiden Sergent had a 13-yard touchdown rush in the third quarter and Ramon Navratil booted the extra point to pace Oceanside.

Oceanside’s Jacob Carroll, left, and Medomak Valley’s Liam Wilson. Photo by Ken Waltz

On defense for the Panthers, Staples (5 solo tackles, assisted tackle, interception), Gatlin Bedenik (5 solos), Nolan Gahagan 4 solos 2 assists), Ward (4 solos 2 assists), Tucker Holgerson (4 solos, assist), Kory Donlin (4 solos), Garret Hutchins (3 solos), Gabe Lash (3 solos), Jethro Pease (2 solos, assist, fumble recovery), Porter Gahagan (2 solos, assist), Marshall Addy (tackle, assist), Isaac Simmons (tackle) and Anthony Francis (solo) led the visitors.

For the Mariners, Sergent (11 carries for 105 yards), Jacob Carroll (8 carries for 40 yards), Hale Morris (5 carries for 25 yards), Maddox Robishaw (3 catches for 60 yards), Nate Thompson (2 catches for 20 yards) and Rachean Dotson (catch for 12 yards) paced the offense.

Defensively for the hosts, Morris (4 solo tackles, fumble recovery), Sergent (10 solos, quarterback sack), Jason Leclerc (8 solos), Thompson (6 solos), Duncan Natale (4 solos), Larry Robbins (5 solos), Cohen Galley (3 solos), Carroll (6 solos) and Lucas Reed (4 solos).