WEST ORANGE, NJ (updated Tuesday Oct. 25, 12:35 p.m.) – Winning its last two games, the West Orange High School varsity football team came into its game against perennial power Montclair on a roll.
Powered by senior running back Michael Osuji’s 170 rushing yards and four touchdowns, the Mountaineers continued their momentum with a stunning 29-26 victory on Saturday, Oct. 22, at Woodman Field in Montclair in a North Jersey Super Football Conference-Liberty Blue Division game.
After a 1-3 start, the Mountaineers are now 4-3. The victory gave the Mountaineers a big boost in trying to qualify for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association North Section 1, Group 5 playoffs. The top eight teams in the power-point standings after the eighth game earn berths. WOHS is in seventh place with 78 points; Hackensack is in eighth with 74 points.
The Mountaineers ended Montclair’s two-game win streak. Montclair fell to 4-2. It marked the first time since 2010 that the Mountaineers defeated Montclair, which won the previous six meetings.
WOHS, Bloomfield and Montclair are all tied for first place in the division at 3-1. Bloomfield lost to East Orange Campus for its first loss of the season, also on Oct. 22.
West Orange blocked a Montclair punt and cashed in when Osuji scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead. Osuji made it 12-0 with a three-yard scoring run to cap an 11-play, 67-yard drive in the second quarter.
Montclair answered with two touchdowns to take a 13-12 halftime lead.
Senior Ryan Carraha kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Mountaineers a 15-12 lead in the third quarter. Osuji scored on a seven-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to make it 22-13. Carraha kicked the extra point. After Montclair scored on a pass play, Osuji, who finished with 26 carries, had a 43-yard touchdown run and Carraha kicked the extra point for a 29-19 lead. Montclair scored on a pass to produce the final score.
Osuji also had six receptions for 40 yards. Junior running back CJ Wilson had 60 yards rushing and 80 yards receiving for the Mountaineers.
WOHS will visit Livingston (3-4) on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 1 p.m.
West Orange (4-3)
Sept. 9, Loss, Union City, 20-0
Sept. 16, Loss, at Irvington, 22-3
Sept. 23, Won, Columbia, 36-7
Sept. 30, Loss, at Bloomfield, 29-7
Oct. 8, Won, at Morristown, 42-14
Oct. 14, Won, Barringer, 47-14
Oct. 22, Won, at Montclair, 29-26
Oct. 29, at Livingston, 1 p.m.
Nov. 5, East Orange Campus, 7 p.m.