The Menlo College football team is off to an 0-2 start and things don't appear to get any easier for the Oaks, who will hit the road for the first time this season to head to Canada to take on NCAA Division II Simon Fraser this Saturday.
The Oaks are coming off a 51-14 loss to No. 22 Southern Oregon last Saturday. The visitors rolled up 642 yards of total offense and 97 plays from scrimmage behind quarterback Austin Dodge.
Dodge threw for 4,383 yards and 47 touchdowns a year ago and is on pace to break nearly every possible NAIA career record for a quarterback this season. He got off to a great start against the Oaks with five scoring drives in the first half,
none of them taking more than 12 plays or four minutes.
Dodge threw for a touchdown and rushed for one more in the third quarter before exiting the game for nearly the entire fourth quarter. He finished the afternoon 23-for-37 for 321 yards and four touchdowns in the air and rushed for 41 yards and a touchdown on six attempts.
The Menlo offense struggled to mount any substantial drives to quiet the SOU offense in the first half, but did put in some quality work in the second half that netted the Oaks a pair of touchdowns late in the fourth quarter.
Menlo's best drive of the day came with just over 11 minutes remaining in the contest. The Oaks pounded out a 15-play, 80 yard drive, chewing up seven minutes of clock, capped off by a spectacular scamper up the sideline and a leap over a defender into the end zone by sophomore Kenneth Martey for a touchdown with 4:23 remaining.
From there, the Oaks' defense stepped up and forced a punt, the first of the game for the Raiders, to regain possession with just under three minutes remaining. Menlo continued to plug away and scored again when DJ Jones ran in from nine yards out.
Kenneth Martey finished as the Oaks' leading rusher, totaling 62 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. Menlo managed just 114 yards on the ground in 38 attempts. Brandon Soohoo again paced the Menlo receiving corps with a team-high five catches for 66 yards including a team-long 28-yard catch in the fourth quarter to help set-up one of two touchdowns.
Defensively, senior Cam Grad led the way with four tackles and two sacks. Denzel Guewell was the team leader with six total tackles.
Southern Oregon finished with 37 first downs, averaging 6.62 yards per play. The well-balanced offense passed for 388 yards and rushed for 254.
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