Beal City's offense too much for Pine River

BEAL CITY — Pine River enjoyed early leads against Beal City Friday night, but the Aggies used a talented offense to build a 27-13 halftime lead and score a 48-20 Highland Conference victory.

The Bucks had leads of 6-0 and 13-6 in the first half, but couldn’t hold back the Aggies.

“It was all about teams getting plays when they need them,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “Yardage wise, we were close, time of possession we dominated. But when they needed big plays they got them. We had numerous drives stall in the red zone where we couldn’t get that big play.”

Pine River opened the game with a 68-yard, nine-play scoring drive with Mason Powell scoring on a 1-yard sneak.

The Aggies responded with a 27-yard-touchdown pass from Tucker Gross to Brad Moore for a 6-6 tie.

Early in the second quarter, Payton Pacola’s 8-yard touchdown run and Tyler Wing’s PAT gave the Bucks a 13-6 lead.

But Beal City scored three unanswered second-quarter touchdowns to take control. Chase Rollins scored on a 6-yard run and then caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Gross, who later hit the end zone on a 5-yard keeper.

Gross scored on a 27-yard run to open the second half for a 34-13 lead.

On Pine River’s first drive of the second half, Powell passed 50 yards to Matt Stone to the Aggie 35 yard line but the drive stalled.

In the fourth quarter, Thomas McCann scored on a 14-yard run for Beal City. Pine River had a drive that stalled at the Aggie 2-yard line. Moments later, the Bucks recovered a fumble and Pacola scored on a 2-yard run. McCann scored on a 50-yard run for the Aggies.

Powell passed for 141 yards and ran for 68 to lead Pine River. Pacola rushed for 79 yards.

Pine River had 186 yards on the ground.

“We had some kids that played well,” Martin said. “We actually moved the ball well against a really good team. We couldn’t cash in on it enough times.”

Gross passed for 145 yards and Rollins rushed for 114 to lead the Aggies.

It was the league opener for both teams, who got out to 2-0 starts.

Beal City won last season’s game, 38-20.

The last time Pine River defeated Beal City was 41-7 in 2000.

“We did really well actually,” Bucks senior defensive back Tyler Wing said. “We had a really good offense. Beal had the good plays when they needed them.”

“This is a tough one,” Martin said. “This was a big one on our calendar we were looking forward to. We’ll have to shake this off and get seven days of preparation for our next game.”

Pine River is home Friday against McBain.