LEROY — Mitch McDonald has been in the Pine River football program long enough to realize Beal City is never an easy team to beat.

That was definitely the case recently with the Bucks falling behind 32-0 at halftime and losing, 38-20.

“The first half, we made too many mistakes, and when we made a mistake they scored on it,” McDonald, a senior, said. “You almost have to play a perfect game against a team like Beal City.”

It was 20-6, in Pine River’s favor, in the second half.

“We adjusted on defense,” McDonald said. “They had a hard time moving, which helped us against their trap. In the second half, we did a lot better. We dug deep and played hard.”

Pine River (2-2) lost 26-21 to Wyoming Godwin Heights the previous weekend.

“I still like our chances,” McDonald said. “Beal City will probably be the best team we play all year. (Godwin Heights) we played them last year (too). Our team is better than last year’s team. We’re bigger,we’re stronger, we’re faster. We didn’t have one of our key offensive linemen and running backs (against Godwin Height) last year.”

McDonald has been a slotback and safety.

“My role (defensively) is don’t let anyone behind me,” he said. “I’ve been a linebacker since I was a sophomore. They moved some guys up...so they put me at safety.”

McDonald hopes to help the Bucks win the rest of their Highland games.

“I think we can finish second in the Highland,” he said. “Pine River hasn’t done that in awhile.”