The West Orange High School football team won its first-ever “Bergen Shootout” on July 13 under the direction of new Head Coach Darnell Grant. The tournament consisted of 16 teams and was held at the newly-opened Pulis Field in Franklin Lakes.
According to Grant, the tournament is run by the Ramapo High School football program, under head coach Drew Gibbs. The tournament, held annually in July, is the final significant tournament before summer practice begins, Grant said.
The shootout featured some of the better programs in North Jersey, including Bergen Catholic, DePaul, and Westwood.
“The boys played really well, going 7-0 for the tournament and defeating DePaul in the semifinals and Bergen Catholic for the championship by the score of 21-12,” Grant said.
The Mountaineers were led by quarterback Mason Murdock, who threw 21 touchdowns without an interception, while receivers Jayson Raines, Mekhi Branch, Jason Gonzalez, and Amiyn Hanks had outstanding days, Grant said.
“Running back Shaki Carson was very impressive, showing great speed and explosiveness,” Grant said. “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.”
Grant told the team after the win that “7 on 7’s are a small part of the process, but it shows that we’re getting better as a unit.”