Leopards Travel North To Face Menlo

Leopards Travel North To Face Menlo

The University of La Verne football squad will play its first road contest of the season as it heads north to take on Menlo College in Atherton on Saturday afternoon.

La Verne looks to rebound from last week's season-opening defeat to Whitworth, but will receive a formidable challenge against a squad which has scored 97 points in its last two contests. 

"We know that we have a tremendous challenge in front of us against a very good football team in Menlo," said La Verne head coach Chris Krich.  "We're excited about the opportunity but we know we need to play very well on Saturday."

In Menlo, the Leopards (0-1) face their lone NAIA opponent of the season.  The Oaks (3-1) split their first two contests but have since reeled off two straight wins against SCIAC schools, including an impressive 56-6 rout of Occidental last weekend.  Menlo is currently ranked No. 25 in the latest NAIA Top 25 Poll.

Quarterback Matt Pelasassa completed all nine of his pass attempts against the Tigers for 119 yards and three touchdowns in less than two full quarters of action.  Running back Brandon Bell rushed for a game-high 104 yards, leading an Oaks ground game that produced 277 yards against Oxy.  Senior wide receiver Michael Alexander, who returned a punt 75 yards for a score last week, has a team-high five touchdowns through four games.

Despite La Verne's loss to Whitworth last weekend, the Leopards enjoyed success on offense and outgained the Pirates 390-252 in total yards.  Quarterback Travis Carter came off the bench to complete 20 of 36 passes for 229 yards with one touchdown while also rushing for 52 yards on 13 carries.   Running back Matthew Biggers rushed 69 yards on 17 attempts and a score in last week's season opener.

Saturday's meeting will be the first between La Verne and Menlo in nearly 11 years.  For several seasons, Menlo was an NCAA Division III independent before moving to the Northwest Conference as a football-only member from 2005-09. 

The last meeting between the schools occurred on November 3, 2001, which resulted in a 58-7 victory for the Oaks.  The Leopards' last win over Menlo was November 13, 1999, in a 47-41 road triumph in Atherton.

Kickoff for Saturday's contest is scheduled for 12:00 pm.