Gary Glidden created a lasting memory on Friday night.
The hard-running Hermon High School senior running back rushed for a career-high 328 yards and six touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass to lead the Hawks to a 49-28 Class C North semifinal win over Oceanside of Rockland at Cameron Stadium in Bangor.
Second seed Hermon, now 7-3, will take on the winner of Saturday’s game between top seed Medomak Valley of Waldoboro, 7-2, and No. 5 Winslow, 4-5, in next Saturday’s 1 p.m. C North championship game at Hampden Academy.
Third seed Oceanside concluded a 6-4 campaign.
Glidden carried the ball 43 times and scored on runs of 14, 7, 2, 40, 5 and 21 yards and he hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Johnny Kokoska.
“My line was blocking for me and they motivated me to keep going,” Glidden said. “I just kept my eyes up, the pulls (pulling linemen) were kicking people out and that made it easy for me.”
He said to have this kind of performance in a playoff game feels really good.
“It is really rewarding for all the hard work all of us have put in,” added the 5-foot-9, 180-pound Glidden, who was chosen a first team All-Big 11 selection.
His offensive line opened big holes for him but the determined Glidden also picked up a lot of his yards after contact as he kept his legs driving and either dragged tacklers with him or spun off them to churn out more yards.
“He is an amazing football player,” said Hermon coach Kyle Gallant.
Hermon senior two-way offensive tackle Hunter Kenna, the league’s Co-Lineman of the Year, said it is a lot of fun to block for Glidden.
“As a unit, we take so much pride in getting to block for somebody like that,” Kenna said. “We really gelled and got it together this game.”
The other interior offensive linemen were center Anthony Addessi, guards Ashton Harriman and Kaykden Patten and tackle Jaykob Dow.
The game got off to an auspicious start for the Hawks because it took the Mariners just three plays and 35 seconds after the opening kickoff to punch one in as Big 11 Player of the Year Aiden Sergent capped a 66-yard drive with a 1-yard run after quarterback Cohen Galley had rattled off a 54-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.
Glidden answered with a 14-yard touchdown run and Kokoska gave Hermon the lead for good by running it in for the two-point conversion.
Glidden made it 14-6 with his 7-yard run to cap a 17-play, 97-yard drive on which the Hawks converted a fourth-and-three at their own 10-yard line and a fourth-and-six on their 32 on the same Kokoska keeper around the right end.
Sergent answered with an 18-yard scamper to make it 14-12 but the two-point conversion failed.
Glidden expanded the lead to 28-12 with his 2-yard run and TD reception.
But the gritty Mariners marched 65 yards in 38 seconds to pull within 28-20 on Galley’s 7-yard run with 11 seconds remaining.
Both defenses stiffened in the third period and Hermon’s defense made a crucial stop on a fourth-and-two play at the Oceanside 45 with 2:31 left in the period.
Two plays later, Glidden raced 40 yards with a nifty move in traffic to make it 36-20.
“They were running to my side a good amount of the game,” Kenna said. “Personally, I figured out where I needed to go. I picked it up and, as a whole unit, we were getting a good push and we took it personally that they were running it right up the gut on us.”
Glidden’s 5-yarder expanded the lead to 42-20 and, after Gavin Ripley scored Oceanside’s only touchdown of the second half on a 12-yard run, Glidden capped his evening with his 21-yard run late in the fourth quarter.
Kokoska completed five of 11 passes for 69 yards and Glidden caught three passes for 40 yards.
Sergent’s 141 yards on 19 carries and Galley’s 110 on 13 paced Oceanside.
“I’ve got to learn how to coach run-stopping defense,” said Oceanside coach Sam Weiss.