ARCATA, Calif. - Menlo College took a step up in competition and paid the price, losing at NCAA Div. II Humboldt State 32-13 inside the Redwood Bowl on Saturday night. The Oaks offense never got untracked against an impressive Lumberjacks defense which held Menlo scoreless for the first three quarters.
Humboldt State put together two long drives in the second quarter capped by one-yard touchdown runs, first by quarterback Chris Bolt and then by fellow signal-caller Mike Proulx just before halftime. A Matt Bruder 21-yard field goal early in the second half was followed by a 10-yard scoring pass from Proulx to wide receiver Dirk Dallas that gave the Lumberjacks a 25-0 lead with two minutes, 54 seconds left in the third quarter.
Menlo finally got on the scoreboard with an 18-play, 85-yard scoring drive that spanned the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth. Payton Bell got the drive started with five carries for 15 yards before quarterback Cruz Castillo went to work, completing short passes to freshmen Cody McGuffie and Michael Alexander. Consecutive completions to Kenny Cavness moved the ball another 23 yards into the red zone, where Castillo ran for eight yards prior to connected with running back Andrew Stevens for an 11-yard touchdown pass to make the score 25-7.
Following a 50-yard touchdown run by Humboldt State running back Lyndon Rowells, the Oaks put the game's final points on the scoreboard. Castillo started the drive with a four-yard completion before freshman Tyler Congdon stepped into his place to finish the drive. Congdon ran twice for 15 yards and completed a short pass to Dimitri Vigil to set up a five-yard touchdown pass to fellow freshman Rashaad Smith with 58 seconds left in the game.
Menlo's offense was limited to 166 total yards. Bell accumulated 49 yards on 21 carries while Castillo completed 17-of-34 passes for 104 yards and a score. Cavness caught four passes for 30 yards.
Free safety Beau Bussani led the Oaks defense with 10 tackles. Linebacker R.J. Rivera added nine tackles while Kupono Hong had a tackle for a loss and a sack. Jeff Dye intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards, but Castillo returned the favor when he threw an interception deep in Humboldt State territory. Menlo had three possessions deep into the Lumberjacks half of the field end without any points in the first half.
Menlo is now 2-1 on the season and plays at fellow NAIA member Southern Oregon (2-1) next Saturday at 1 p.m. in Ashland, Ore. Humboldt State also holds a 2-1 record.