Pine River crushes Benzie for first win of the season

LEROY — The Pine River football team is 1-1 at .500 after picking up a 39-6 victory over Benzie Central on Friday.

“The big thing was the change in our offense,” said first-year coach Terry Martin. “Our offense definitely played better than they did a week ago, especially the offensive line. That helped the rest of us get going.”

The Bucks led 7-0 after the first quarter after Brandon Fulks ripped off an 84-yard touchdown run in the quarter.

Pine River scored 26 points in the second quarter to head into the half with a 33-0 lead. In the quarter, Mitchell McDonald had an 84-yard touchdown run, Skyler Nelson connected with Greg Park on a 34-yard touchdown pass, Nelson hit Brandon Hoaglund with a 58-yard touchdown reception and Nelson finished the quarter with a 20-yard touchdown toss to Fulks.

Jeff Gross ripped off a 72-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for Pine River’s last score of the night.

Nelson led the Bucks with 168 yards through the air on 6-of-9 passing and three scores while McDonald had 111 yards on the ground and a score, Gross had 91 yards rushing and a touchdown and Park had two receptions for 61 yards and a score.

“We played a lot better on offnense,” Fulks said.

Nelson, in his third year at quarterback, broke the school career passing record.

Kyle Nixon had 12 tackles and a sack.

Pine River (1-1, 0-0) returns to action Friday with a trip to Beal City.

“We’ll have to eliminate mistakes on ourselves,” Martin said.

The Aggies had 61-0 and 48-0 wins over Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart and Clare to open the season.

Pioneer sports writer Greg Buckner contributed to this report.