Pine River bids for playoff spot

LEROY — Pine River football coach Terry Martin, in his second season, holds nothing back in explaining the importance of the Bucks’ game at McBain Friday to close out the regular season.

The Bucks are 5-3.

“It’s probably the biggest game of my coaching career because it gives us a chance to make the playoffs,” Martin said. “The kids are pretty excited about it.”

McBain will throw the Wing T and a tough rushing attack at the Bucks.

“It will come down to who does the little things well,” Martin said.

Pine River didn’t play last week with a forfeit win over Marion, which causes Martin some concern if the Bucks can be 100 percent ready right off the bat.

“On the other hand, it gives us a couple guys a chance to rest and get back to speed, so we have that benefit,” Martin said. “Hopefully the benefits outweigh (the disadvantages).”

Reed City at Schoolcraft

Reed City is 7-1 and has clinched a playoff spot. Schoolcraft is 5-3 and needs a win to assure itself of a playoff berth.

“We’re excited to play a traditionally high-powered football program,” Reed City football coach Monty Price said. “Their three losses are to three quality programs in New Lothrop, Constantine and Hopkins.

“They’re kind of option-oriented with spread concepts.”

The junior varsity team plays prior to the varsity game. The Coyotes will have a two-hour trip one-way to Schoolcraft. But they’ll be travelling in charter busses, which actually will save money compared to using regular school busses, Price indicated. The team also would need to take two vans if they used school busses in order to transport the equipment and other items.

Using charter busses is expected to be more comfortable on a two-hour drive. “A lot of teams travel more than two hour to places,” Price said.

Evart at Montabella

The Wildcats, at 2-6, finish their season at Montabella against the 5-3 Mustangs who need a win to make the playoffs.

“They have a couple of good athletes and decent linemen and I’m sure they’ll try to pound the ball like our last two teams have against us,” Evart coach Pat Craven said. “We’ll have to play fast on defense and try to shut down the run game.”