As the sun rose on this crisp autumn morning, Menlo's last football game of the season would soon be upon us. Senior Day brought fans from near and far, filling the stands with students, teachers, and parents on hand to create a positive outlook for this group of seniors.
The Oaks came out and dominated the line of scrimmage, turning this game into a dogfight at the point of contact. Menlo established the run and stuck with it throughout the whole game letting Payton Bell carry the workload. The senior running back went out with a bang, setting the Oaks' single game rushing record with 327 yards on 41 carries along with a record five touchdowns.
This game was destined to be a back and forth affair with both teams scoring opening drive touchdowns to give the fans an early 7-7 tie. The shootout continued throughout the opening half as constant big plays lit up the scoreboard truly making Senior Day 2010 one for the books.
Pacific defensive back Bryan Mills picked off Oaks' quarterback Cruz Castillo and took it 65 yards to the house to put the Boxers up 14-7. Menlo quickly responded when Payton Bell took a handoff and ran it in for a 24 yard score, the first of his record setting five touchdowns.
With the score knotted up at 14, the barrage of big plays continued. A 70 yard TD strike from Pacific quarterback T.C. Campbell and a 61 yard punt return by Menlo's Jaronimo Wright, which led to another Bell touchdown run, helped contribute to an Oaks' 29-21 halftime lead.
Not much changed as the teams took the field for the second half. The first half fireworks would carry over leading to an exciting finish. The Oaks defense came out of the locker room and forced a critical Pacific fumble to start the frame. Menlo quickly responded to the turnover by handing it off to Bell who scored his 4th TD of the game to give the Oaks a 36-21 lead.
Pacific would not go down easy though, eventually cutting a once 15 point lead down to just two after two more long touchdown passes by Campbell. Menlo now had a slim 44-42 lead with just 1:17 left on the clock. The tension was growing among the fans as the game came down to one final play. The Boxers lined up for an onside kick, looking for one last glimmer of hope.
Fortunately for the Oaks, the onside chance was unsuccessful allowing the seniors to end their collegiate careers on the ultimate high note... a 44-42 victory.