WEST ORANGE, NJ — The sixth-seeded West Orange High School football team upset third-seeded Watchung Hills, 18-10, in the quarterfinals of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s North Jersey, Section 2, Group 5 state playoffs on Friday night, Oct. 28, at Watchung Hills.
The Mountaineers, who improved to 6-3 on the season, will visit No. 2 seed Ridgewood in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 4. Ridgewood received a forfeit win from seventh-seeded Montclair, which reported having an ineligible player. Ridgewood is 7-2 this season.
In the other semifinal, fourth-seeded Paterson Eastside will visit top-seeded Phillipsburg on Friday, Nov. 4. In the quarterfinals, Eastside defeated fifth-seeded Piscataway, 28-7, to improve to 6-3, and Phillipsburg defeated eighth-seeded Elizabeth, 49-13, to move to 9-0.
The WOHS Mountaineers, under fourth-year head coach Darnell Grant, are seeking to reach a state sectional championship for the first time in program history. They have reached the semifinals for the third straight time. In 2019, Grant’s first year, they lost to Union in the North 2, Group 5 semifinals. In 2021, they fell at East Orange Campus in the North 1, Group 5 semifinals.
Trailing 3-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Mountaineers got on the scoreboard when senior running back Jehki Williams ran for a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter to give the Mountaineers a 6-3 lead. The two-point conversion pass was unsuccessful. Watchung Hills answered with a touchdown run in the second quarter and added the extra point for a 10-6 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, senior wide receiver Matthew Barrino scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Amir Stewart to give West Orange a 12-6 lead. The extra point failed.
Sophomore defensive back I’yan Gainer recovered a fumble in the end zone in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
This season, the playoffs have an extra round. The playoffs will end with group state championship games.
WOHS stats vs. Watchung Hills
- Stewart: 14 of 25 attempts, 240 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions.
- Al-Jahmir Newsome, senior: 8 carries for 52 yards.
- Adonis White, junior: 6 carries for 44 yards.
- Williams: 7 carries for 14 yards, 1 TD.
- Stewart: 1 carry for minus-5 yards.
- Jarvis Jones, senior wide receiver: 6 catches for 141 yards.
- Terrell Wilfong, sophomore wide receiver: 3 catches for 40 yards.
- Saboor Karriem, senior: 3 catches for 40 yards.
- Barrino: 1 catch for 12 yards, 1 TD.
- White: 1 catch for 3 yards.
- Newsome, linebacker: 8 tackles, 2 for loss.
- Karriem, defensive back: 7 tackles.
- Gensly Auguste, senior lineman: 7 tackles.
- Chris Barrino, sophomore linebacker: 6 tackles.
- Matthew Barrino, defensive back: 5 tackles.
- Jhensen Touze, senior linebacker: 5 tackles.
Photo Courtesy of Kerry E. Porter