Behind a second half onslaught of epic proportions, the Oaks wrapped up their season opening three game road trip with a convincing 41-13 victory at the hands of Pomona Pitzer (0-1). Scoring a touchdown on each and every second stanza possession, Menlo piled on 35 points, thanks largely to an unbelievable rushing attack that produced 294 total yards, averaging 5.8-yards per carry in the "W." With the win the Oaks improve their 2012 record to 2-1, as they get ready for their home opener next Saturday, September 15th at 12:00pm.
The two teams played to a 6-6 tie over the first 30 minutes of play, with Menlo deadlocking the score nearly three minutes before intermission. Senior quarterback Matt Pelasasa delivered a 47-yard touchdown heave to fellow senior Robert Adan (blocked extra point) to knot things up at six a piece. After forcing the Sagehens to a three-and-out on the second half's opening possession, the Oaks began their 30-minute long scoring barrage. First it was junior wide receiver Michael Alexander that made his presence felt with the Oaks longest rush of the afternoon, a 42-yard scamper into the end zone that broke the 6-6 affair. Alexander finished second on the team with 66 total rushing yards, and now has four rushing TD's over the first three games of the year. He was also one of five Oaks to run for at least 25-yards, as Menlo proved their ground and pound dominance.
One of those five was sophomore Vince Snyder, who accounted for the Oaks second touchdown of the half, capping off a ten play, 60-yard scoring drive with a two-yard scoring rush to push Menlo's margin to 20-6. Snyder ended with 28-yards on the ground, while freshman Brandon Bell set the pace with a game high 84, including a 21-yard TD dash to account for Menlo's final second half score with just 1:18 left in the tilt, pushing the Oaks to a 41-13 lead. Sophomore Jake Fohn and freshman Dominic Mercurio also leaped in on the action with Fohn accounting for 61 on the ground, including a 5-yard score, and Mercurio picking up 40-yards rushing.
Menlo quarterback Matt Pelasasa continues to pile up solid performance after solid performance in his senior campagin with the Oaks. The native of nearby Redwood City was more than efficient, completing 9-of-11 passes for 116-yards and a TD, while not throwing an interception. Sophomore quarterback Erik Peterson also got in on the action, connecting with senior wide out Daniel Stevenson on a 7-yard touchdown pass for his only toss of the game.
Defensively, the Oaks stifled Pomona-Pitzer's offensive attack, as the Sagehens managed just 230 total yards. Pomona-Pitzer was more than kept in check in the second half as well, having just one of their six second stanza drives lasting for more than seven plays. In fact Menlo was minutes away from pitching a second half shutout, before senior signal caller Luke Ferguson hooked up with fellow senior Yoshi Rothman on a 10-yard touchdown strike with only 2:50 remaining in the contest. Ferguson finished his first game of the 2012 season with a 15-of-28 passing performance, racking up a mere 129-yards with one TD.
Senior linebacker Marcus Alvin led the Oaks with ten total tackles, including 1.5 for a loss. Fellow senior linebacker Devon Jonsson produced the game's only turnover, recovering a Ferguson fumble that was forced by freshman Jaden Rosselli.
Menlo will finally make their much anticipated home opener next Saturday, September 15th, as the Oaks will clash with Occidental College at Connor Field. Menlo took out the Tigers 41-17 a year ago.