The Azusa Pacific University football team will take on one of the top teams in NCAA Division III when it plays host to Menlo at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Azusa.
The Oaks, ranked No. 5 in Division III West Region last week, have a 4-1 record and caused problems for Azusa Pacific in the past. Menlo has a 3-1 lead in the series between the teams including a 40-28 victory over the Cougars last year.
But Azusa Pacific is also out to a fast start. The Cougars, who did not play last week, are also 4-1.
The game will feature two outstanding quarterbacks. Azusa has been sparked by the passing of Brian Hunt and Menlo by Greg Clark.
Hunt, a senior from Glendora High, has completed 110 of 207 passes for 1,373 yards and nine touchdowns. He is closing in on former Cougar quarterback Greg Gano's single-season record of 1,918 yards passing and 2,003 yards in total offense.
Clark, who passed for 422 yards and three touchdowns against the Cougars last year, has thrown for 790 yards this season. He also has two outstanding passing targets in Chris Lupenui, who has 27 receptions, and Curtis Moseley, with 25.
The Oaks have an excellent defense headed by linemen Micah Kane and Masa Miyashiro and linebacker Blake Fujii.
Azusa Pacific's defense has been stingy, especially against the run. The Cougars are ranked in the top 10 in the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics in rushing defense, allowing an average of 83.2 yards a game. Overall, they are giving up an average of 236.4 yards.
It will be a match-up of conference leaders when Pomona-Pitzer visits Occidental in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Eagle Rock.
Both teams enter the game at 2-0 in SCIAC play. Pomona-Pitzer is 3-1 overall and Occidental 3-2.
Pomona-Pitzer, off to its best start in recent years, has been paced on offense by junior quarterback Scott Hamburg and sophomore running back Chris Smith.
Hamburg is the SCIAC leader in passing yardage and total offense. He has completed 59 of 129 passes for 916 yards and eight touchdowns and has averaged 222.3 total offense.
Smith is fourth in the conference in rushing with 291 yards and three touchdowns in 67 carries. He is also fifth in all-purpose yardage with an average of 111.5 yards and fourth in scoring with 32 points.
The Sagehens, who have outscored their opponents 120-96, have been aided by punter Nate Kirtman with a conference-leading 41.6 average. He also ranks among the SCIAC leaders in pass interceptions with two.
Occidental, defending conference champion, has been sparked by freshman running back Brian Madlangbayan with 449 yards rushing and two touchdowns in 87 carries. The Tigers also have a freshman standout at quarterback in Derrick Williams, who has passed for 357 yards and four touchdowns.
In another SCIAC game Saturday, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (1-4) will visit Redlands (4-1) at 7:30 p.m. and La Verne (1-4) travels to Cal Lutheran (1-5) for a nonconference game at 1:30 p.m.
The Cal Poly Pomona women's soccer team, which extended its longest unbeaten streak of the season to four with a 1-1 tie with UC Irvine on Monday, will host Regis of Colorado in a nonconference game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Pomona.
The Broncos will take a 6-6-2 record into the game. They are led by sophomore striker Shannon Payne, a former Muir High of Pasadena star, who entered the week with a team-leading 17 goals. Payne scored two goals in Pomona's 4-1 victory over UC San Diego, an NCAA Division III power, last week.