ROCKLAND — It was not the high-scoring, razzle-dazzle-type game the Oceanside football team had been accustomed to through the season’s first five games on Friday night, Oct. 7 against visiting Gardiner at Wasgatt Field.

The Mariner offense averaged 42.4 points as it entered into Friday’s contest, but managed 14 in their homecoming high school gridiron game against the Tigers.

Oceanside’s Jack Elwell (58), Carter Galley (12), Aiden Sergent (27) and Hale Morris (2), among others. Photo by Mark Haskell

However, the hosts showed grit, determination and used a late goal-line stand to grind out a 14-12 victory over Gardiner, which Oceanside coach Sam Weiss called “one of, if not the best team we have played” this season.

“They were big and strong in every position,” he said. “They were also very well-coached. I believe there were only five penalties the entire game on both teams combined. It was a very disciplined football game.”

Oceanside’s Zeb Foster, left, and Gavin Ripley. Photo by Mark Haskell

The Mariners (4-2) sit atop a three-team logjam in the Class C North standings, with Hermon and Medomak Valley also at 4-2 and all three separated by just over four Crabtree Points.

Oceanside has a two-point loss to Hermon earlier in the season and will travel to face Midcoast rival Medomak Valley on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. (time change) in Waldoboro. The Panthers also will host the Hawks in their final regular-season game.

On Friday, Hale Morris and Gavin Ripley had touchdown receptions from Cohen Galley, while Zeb Foster caught a two-point conversion for Oceanside.

Oceanside’s Aiden Sergent, left, and Gardiner’s Ian Spence. Photo by Mark Haskell

Cohen Galley was 6-of-9 under center for the hosts for 210 yards and two scores for Oceanside, as he completed passes to Robert Blair (2 catches for 158 yards), Ripley (2 catches for 27 yards, TD), Foster (catch for 21 yards) and Morris (catch for 4 yards, TD). The Mariner signal caller also rushed for 59 yards on 16 carries.

Aiden Sergent was kept off the scoreboard for the first time this season, but amassed 88 yards on 26 carries and helped open up numerous offensive opportunities for other players, including Blair’s two long catches, one of which led directly to an Oceanside touchdown.

Oceanside’s Cody Benner, left, and Brady Proctor. Photo by Mark Haskell

“On defense, Brady Proctor gave them fits up front,” said Weiss. “He’s a guy teams will need to run away from for sure. On offense, Cohen Galley, and Robert Blair played lights’ out. We established our quick game and deep passing once we saw ‘everybody and the kitchen sink’ was in the box to stop Aiden. Aiden opens the door for everything we do.”

For Gardiner, Zach Kristan and Theron Corliss had TD catches.

Oceanside was held off the scoreboard in its first two possessions before a Gardiner fourth-and-goal rush failed inside the five-yard line.

Oceanside’s Zeb Foster. Photo by Mark Haskell

The Mariners then struck quickly — and decisively — as Cohen Galley found Blair wide open in the flat for a 70-yard catch-and-run, followed by touchdown from Cohen Galley to Ripley on a screen pass with 11:16 to go in the half.

The hosts had a similar play from Cohen Galley to Blair for roughly the same amount of yardage on their first possession of the third quarter, but the Mariners were held out of the end zone after a direct snap to Sergent on fourth and goal came up short.

The ensuing play for the Tigers resulted in a touchdown catch for Corliss off a jet-sweep throw from Cole Brann with 1:55 to go in the third, which knotted the score 6-6.

The spirited Oceanside student section. Photo by Mark Haskell

In the fourth, the Mariners methodically moved the ball on the ground — with a heavy dose of Sergent — which resulted in Cohen Galley connecting with Morris on a four-yard scoring pass in the corner of the end zone with six minutes to play.

After a two-point conversion catch by Foster, the Mariners held a 14-6 edge.

The Tigers moved down the field quickly and Kristan caught a TD pass with 2:57 to play, but the Mariners made a defensive stand on the two-point conversion rush and kept the visitors out of the end zone.

A fourth-down run by Cohen Galley with under two minutes to go sealed the win for Oceanside.

Defensively, Oceanside was led by Sergent (solo tackle, 5 assisted tackles), Nate Thompson (solo, 3 assists), Cohen Galley (solo, 4 assists), Blair (2 solos, 4 assists), Morris (2 solos, 6 assists), Ben Tripp (assist), Maddox Robishaw (solo, 4 assists), Ripley (solo, 5 assists), Foster (4 solos, 2 assists), Proctor (4 solos, assist), Chris Mills (solo), Jack Elwell (4 solos, 3 assists), Andrew Gehouskey (assist), Duncan Natale (2 solos, assist) and Carter Galley (3 solos, 6 assists).