West Orange HS football team upends Montclair in head coach Darnell Grant’s debut

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Darnell Grant had a memorable debut as the head coach of the West Orange High School football team.

After losing to Montclair, 35-0, in the North 1, Group 5 sectional quarterfinals to end last season, the Mountaineers got their payback against the perennial power as they posted an emphatic 29-6 win to cap the Rumble on the Raritan on Saturday night at Rutgers University’s SHI Stadium in Piscataway in a Super Football Conference-Liberty Blue Division game. The Rumble on the Raritan featured a series of games at SHI Stadium over the past two weekends.

Grant came to West Orange as one of the top coaches in the area, producing remarkable success at his alma mater Irvington and Shabazz.

Darnell Grant

Junior quarterback Mason Murdock passed for two touchdowns to junior receivers Jason Raines and Amiyn Hanks; junior running back Shakhi Carson scored on an 11-yard run; and senior safety Adonis May returned a fumble for a touchdown and recorded a safety by blocking a punt out of the end zone.

It marked the second straight year that the Mountaineers topped Montclair in the season opener at WOHS when Montclair was state-ranked and coming off a 12-0 North 1, Group 5 title season. WOHS won, 26-19. After Montclair beat West Orange in the quarterfinals, it came up short in its bid for another North 1, Group 5 title when it lost to Ridgewood, 27-7, in the final to finish 7-5.

The Mountaineers will host Paterson Kennedy in their home opener Sept. 13. It will be Kennedy’s season opener.

West Orange (1-0)

Sept. 7, Won, Montclair, 29-6, at Rutgers University

Sept. 13, Paterson Kennedy, 7 p.m.

Sept. 20, at Don Bosco, 7 p.m.

Sept. 27, at Columbia, 7 p.m.

Oct. 5, at Livingston, 3 p.m.

Oct. 11, East Orange Campus, 7 p.m.

Oct. 18, at Passaic County Tech, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25, Bloomfield, 7 p.m.

Nov. 1, Barringer, 7 p.m.

Photos by JR Parachini. WOHS vs. Montclair, Sept. 7, at Rutgers Universit’s SHI Stadium.