Oceanside Coach Sam Weiss speaks to his team during a practice this week. The Mariners are 10-0 and will play Leavitt in the Class C state championship game on Saturday. Drew Bonifant photo

ROCKLAND — When Sam Weiss took over as head coach of the Oceanside High football team before the 2022 season, he saw the talent and the athleticism necessary for a high-powered offense to take shape.

All the Mariners needed was some time.

“When we started, we had five plays,” he said. “We went into our scrimmage last year with about 15. Now we’re well over 100.”

The state is seeing what that offense looks like at full strength. Oceanside (10-0) will take on Leavitt (10-0) in the Class C final at Lewiston High on Saturday, looking to win its first football state championship.

At the center of the Mariners’ operation has been an attack that’s as balanced as it is potent. Oceanside is averaging 45.6 points per game this season and has topped 50 points four times. The Mariners can throw – Cohen Galley has completed over 60% of his passes for 1,808 yards and 23 touchdowns. And they can run – Galley has rushed for 1,263 yards and 23 touchdowns, and Aiden Sergent has churned out 1,041 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The offense is so proficient that the team has yet to punt this season.


“We’ve got athletes in all areas of the field, and we’ve got some great coaches. It’s kind of like a ‘pick your poison’ kind of thing with us,” Sergent said. “If a team prepares for our passing game, Cohen and I run for 300 (yards). If they load up the box, we’ve got them beat through the air.”

Who else boasts that kind of versatility?

“I can think of one: Leavitt,” Weiss said. “They’re a team that can definitely do it the way we do. From what I hear, Portland can probably do it about that. But if you look at the teams that are doing it like that, there’s 30-0 (combined records).”

When running the ball, the Mariners can throw different running styles at teams out of their spread and two-back formations. Sergent is the speedster, Galley is the darting runner who consistently rips off chunks of yardage, and Gavin Ripley (217 rushing yards, 220 receiving) is a dual threat.

“People always ask ‘Which one’s the power back?’ I wouldn’t even say we have a power back,” Weiss said. “It’s all kind of just finesse.”

Unless a little bit of power is what it takes.


“We’ve got some speed,” Sergent said. “But if we’ve got to lower the shoulder and get five yards, we can do that, too. It’s a little tough, you get hurt and banged up a little bit. But we can do it.”

And then there’s the passing game, which throughout the season set the Mariners apart in Class C North. Catch-and-run specialist Carter Galley has 35 receptions for 716 yards and nine touchdowns, deep threat Zeb Foster has 20 catches for 555 yards and 11 scores, Ripley has his 220 yards on 14 catches to go with two scores, and Maddox Robishaw, who can catch and block, has eight grabs for 184 yards and a touchdown.

“It’s fun. We’ve got a lot of guys that can do a lot of special things, and we’re deep,” Cohen Galley said. “We can really open teams up and allow for the run after we hit a few balls and help Aiden get some carries inside. We can make plays all over the field.”

At the center of it all is Cohen Galley, who has thrown only three interceptions. When asked what makes his senior quarterback, also a basketball standout, so effective, Weiss quickly had an answer.

“His decision-making,” he said. “It’s kind of like playing point guard. In a basketball game, there are a lot of different options, you have four different guys on the court and you can pass to any of them.

“In our offense, you can hand it off, you can throw it to a receiver, you can run it. It’s just making the right decision in what we call, and he’s been able to pretty close to master it. It doesn’t come naturally.”


That mastery takes place throughout the offense. The Mariners have played together since middle school, which has allowed them to gain the chemistry needed to run the complex play designs Oceanside does to move downfield.

“It’s a lot of scheme routes, running certain routes to get one route open,” Foster said. “We’ve been working on it since last summer. It took two years to get it to where we are now.”

Weiss said the Oceanside attack adapts to the opponent, which means that players can go from starring to supporting roles on a weekly basis. In a win over York, Foster had four catches for 179 yards; four games earlier, he caught one pass for eight yards. Sergent ran 20 times for 142 yards against Hampden; the next week, he carried nine times.

The players are fine with it. They see that it’s working.

“It’s just bigger than that. We’ve got too many great players to say that one guy’s going to be the star,” Sergent said. “We know it’s about the team, it’s about the wins, and it’s about the ring we hopefully get at the end of the year, after this week.”

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