Play of the Day: Oaks cap off 99-yard scoring drive with a bit of trickery inside the final two minutes of first half...
For the second time in as many weeks, #25 Menlo College eclipsed the 50-point plateau in a 59-13 rout at the hands of the University of La Verne (0-2) in the second straight affair at Conner Field. The overwhelming victory makes it three in a row for Menlo (4-1), with the Oaks outscoring their three opponents by an almost surreal 156-32 during that time period, including 115-19 at home. Menlo's 59-points are the most scored since November 3, 2001, which just so happened to be a 58-7 win over La Verne.
The Oaks racked up an incredible 635-yards of total offense in the blowout victory, with Menlo's ground attack continuing to prove its pure dominance. The Oaks sprinted their way to a school record 491 rushing yards, surpassing the old mark of 331 on November 13, 2010 in a win against Pacific University. The 635 total yards is also the second most all-time, trailing only the infamous Zamir Amin 700-yard passing game against Cal Lutheran in a loss back on October 7, 2000.
On the ground, freshman Brandon Bell led the charge for the third straight week. The native of Largo, FL dashed for 184-yards on only eight carriers, including a 64-yard assault on the end zone to push Menlo's advantage to 45-7 early in the fourth quarter. Bell has now rushed for a remarkable 408-yards in the last three games, as he continues to lead the Oaks in yards on the ground.
Bell's touchdown was part of a run that saw Menlo score 52 straight points after getting down 7-0 four and a half minutes into the tilt.
On the Leopards first drive of the game, sophomore quarterback Travis Carter connected with junior wide receiver David Kain on a 50-yard touchdown strike to give La Verne the initial 7-0 advantage. Carter would go on to complete 12 of his 25 pass attempts for 173-yards, with two touchdowns and an interception.
The touchdown marked the first time the Oaks trailed at home in 2012, but that would change in a hurry. On the ensuing kickoff, Menlo's Vince Snyder took it 93-yards to the house to knot up the score at 7-7.
Six minutes later Menlo would take their first lead of the game after a Devon Jonsson interception set up the Oaks at the La Verne 8-yard line. Two plays after the pick, junior Michael Alexander finished off a two play scoring drive with an 8-yard rush into the end zone to give Menlo a 14-7 lead with 4:15 remaining in the first quarter. Alexander, along with fellow teammate in Oaks quarterback Matt Pelasasa, would go on to accomplish a special scoring feat before it was all said and done.
The dynamic duo each rushed for a touchdown, threw for a touchdown, and caught a touchdown. The Alexander TD toss and Pelasasa end zone reception came on the same play with only 1:21 left in the first half. In a bit of trickery, Alexander took a handoff from Pelasasa and then threw it back across his body to the Oaks QB, who raced it in for six and a 31-7 advantage in the closing stages leading up to intermission.
Pelasasa would finish his afternoon with only ten pass attempts, completing six of them for 100-yards and the aforementioned three total scores. Sophomore Jake Fohn played an influential role in Menlo's overwhelming ground attack with six carriers for a whopping 131-yards, including an 82-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter to push Menlo's lead to 24-7. The Fohn scamper was one of three that went for at least 60-yards, along with Bell's 64-yard scoring dash, and Christian Hill-Smith's 71-yard TD late in the fourth on his only attempt of the afternoon.
Defensively, Menlo stifled La Verne in holding the Leopards to just 13 total points, while forcing two turnovers. Junior Camyar Meshkaty paved the way with seven total tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack. Senior Wade Hawkins chipped in with six tackles, and junior Michele Canali tallied four tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack.
Now at 4-1, the Oaks will go on a bye next Saturday before returning to action on Saturday, October 6th with a matchup against Webber International at Conner Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00pm.