WEST ORANGE, NJ — Early in the third quarter, sophomore quarterback Saladin Paschall, flanked by junior running back Chris Wilson, stood back in a shotgun awaiting the snap. The West Orange Mountaineers already led Barringer 40-6 but were still looking for that final nail in the coffin.
With the snap, Paschall leaked out to the right, stalked by Wilson to his right. As the Barringer defense swarmed to the sophomore, Paschall quickly flipped the ball to Wilson. The junior running back planted his right foot and exploded up the sideline. Untouched, Wilson scored on a 40-yard touchdown run and the game was over.
From the beginning of the game West Orange (3-3) dominated Barringer (3-4), winning the game 47-14. Wilson was a monster from the opening whistle, running all over the Blue Bears.
“They did what they had to do,” West Orange coach James Matsakis said. “Having Chris Wilson with Michael Osuji together gives us two completely different backs. It makes us hard to defend, we run two totally different offenses with them. The fact that they work so well together makes us so explosive.”
The combination of Osuji and Wilson was thunder and lightning—Osuji is a bell-cow back with the ability to lay out anyone on the field and Wilson has the speed and acceleration to run by just about anyone in the state.
The Blue Bears had no answers and both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball. The Mountaineer defense was unstoppable, completely stonewalling and running play from Barringer.
Matsakis said he was happy about the renewed cohesiveness of the Mountaineers. The coach cited that his squad no longer finger points. Nobody is pointing the finger anymore and the skill players have finally elevated their play around Paschall.
Next week, the Mountaineers take on Montclair looking to keep their streak against one of the best teams in North Jersey.
“For us, the biggest key is turnovers,” Matsakis said. “Every loss we have had, we have had about three or four turnovers. If we eliminate turnovers and keep getting first downs, we are going to be okay. Defensively we should be okay, we just have to find ways to get possessions offensively.”