The Menlo College football team will take a break this weekend with its second bye in three weeks, hoping to look ahead and not back after suffering a streak-ending loss on Saturday.
The Oaks' three-game win streak is now a thing of the past after a tough 19-14 loss to Florida's Webber International in Atherton.
Trailing 14-0 at the half, the visiting Warriors deadlocked the score with two third-quarter touchdowns before taking the affair with a field goal and a safety in the fourth.
In the game's closing moments, the Oaks put together one final drive in their bid at a dramatic comeback. However, quarterback Matt Pelesasa was intercepted at the Webber 4-yard line with only 27 seconds left.
The loss dropped the Oaks to 4-2 on the year, while WIU notched its first victory in five games.
Menlo grabbed the lead with 99 yards on the ground and two second-quarter rushing scores plus a stifling defense. Freshman Brandon Bell and junior Michael Alexander each dashed into the end zone, Bell's a 20-yard scamper with 11:15 remaining in the second, and Alexander from four yards out inside the half's final minute.
Defensively, Menlo limited the Warriors to just 76 total yards over the first 30 minutes of play, including a remarkable minus-3 yards in the passing department.
After Webber tied the game in the second half, both offenses stalled. The Warriors, however, capitalized on another key Menlo turnover -- a fumble at the Oaks' 23. That led to a 41-yard field goal by the visitors.
The Oaks came up empty on their next two possessions, including going three-and-out inside of three minutes to set up a punt deep in their own territory. Menlo junior Kevin Kurtz then had his punt blocked, but was able to retrieve the ball in the end zone for a WIU safety.
On the ensuing Menlo kickoff, the Oaks forced a fumble at their own 39-yard line. Pelesasa and the rest of the Menlo offense orchestrated a promising drive that saw the Oaks move the ball all the way to the Webber International 23-yard line, but an interception by Steven Willis with just 27 seconds left upended Menlo's final comeback bid.
Pelesasa completed 17 of his 27 pass attempts for just 105 yards. Bell led the Oaks in rushing for his fourth consecutive game, totaling 61 yards and a score. Robert Adan led the charge on the receiving end, finishing with a game-high 59 receiving yards on seven catches.
Defensively, Menlo held the Warriors to just 138 yards of total offense. Devon Jonsson paved the way with seven total tackles, one for loss, while Camyar Meshkaty produced the Oaks' only sack, tallying two tackles for loss, as well.
Women's cross country
The Oaks put five runners in the top 10 and finished second as a team to cap off a very impressive showing at the Pacific Union Invite in Angwin on Friday. Sophomore Hayley Heryford led the charge with a fourth-place showing in the field of 29, finishing with an overall time of 23:24 in the 5K.
"I was really impressed with our team's overall effort," Menlo coach Sean Weeks said on his group's stellar performance. "Having five runners in the top 10 is a huge accomplishment for us."
Right behind Heryford was sophomore Emmeline Wang, who wrapped up a fifth-place finish with a 23:58. The Oaks concluded their top-10 effort with Sherry Sabado, Jessica Weise, and Jessica Marso finish eight, nine, and 10th, respectively.
Next up for Menlo will be the Cal-Pac Preview on Oct. 19 in Rocklin.
Four second half Embry-Riddle (10-1-3) scores erased a promising start for the Oaks, as Menlo's 1-0 halftime advantage went by the books in a 4-1 loss Saturday afternoon at Wunderlich Field. The defeat snapped the Oaks' three-match win streak, as Menlo moved to 5-2-3 on the season.
The Oaks jumped on the board first after a beautiful ball from junior Christian Abrego found the foot of fellow junior Andrew Cota for a score in the 27th minute. It was Cota's 10th goal of the season. Abrego notched his fourth assist of the year to pull in a dead heat with senior Alex Vukic for the team lead.
Menlo continued its winning ways on Saturday evening, taking out Cal Pacific Conference foe UC Merced in Haynes-Prim Pavilion, 25-23, 25-21, 25-15. The victory makes it six in a row for Menlo (4-0, 9-6).
Menlo sophomore Courtney Calicdan led the victory with 20 kills and hit .295. Junior outside hitter Nicole Yap strung together an impressive showing as well, ending her night with 11 kills, a stellar .348 hitting percentage, three service aces, and a match-high 18 digs. Stephanie Monderine led the charge in the assist department with a match-high 19, while senior Angie Larsen was right on her heels with 18.
Menlo will put its winning streak on the line this Thursday against host Simpson University in Redding.