FRANKLIN LAKES, NJ — The West Orange High School (WOHS) football team won its first-ever "Bergen Shootout" over the weekend under the direction of Darnell Grant, the recently appointed new head coach of WOHS football.
Organizers of the tournament—which was held at the new Pulis Field in Franklin Lakes and consisted of 16 teams—said that keeping the tournament to 16 teams offers “an optimum day of competitive football in the most productive conducive environment in an efficiently managed time structure.” They also explained that all 16 teams qualify for the playoff round and are seeded accordingly after a divisional round is completed.
Stating that the tournament is always held in July, Grant said that this date “is important because it’s the last significant tournament before summer practice begins."
The tournament, which is hosted by Coach Drew Gibbs and the Ramapo High School football team, included a shootout that featured some of the better programs in North Jersey—including Bergen Catholic, Depaul and Westwood.
The WOHS team went 7-0 for the tournament, defeating Depaul in the semifinals and Bergen Catholic for the championship, 21-12.
“The Mountaineers were led by quarterback Mason Murdock, who threw 21 touchdowns and 0 interceptions,” said Grant. “Receivers Jayson Raines, Mekhi Branch, Jason Gonzalez and Amiyn Hanks all had outstanding days. Running back Carson was very impressive, showing great speed and explosiveness.
“On the defensive side, linebackers Jaylen Rutherford, Chris Parsons, and Matt Bove were solid all day long. In the Secondary, Dorian Rawls, Jamil St. Phil, Jared Massay, and Cade Lipsy were outstanding."
Coach Grant told the team after the win that “7-on-7’s are a small part of the process, but it shows that [the team is] getting better as a unit."