LEROY — Pine River entered this season as defending Highland Conference football champs.

But with Friday’s 55-43 loss to Manton, the Bucks ended the Highland season at 0-5 and are 0-7 overall.

The Bucks led 7-0 after the first quarter and 29-27 at halftime against Manton, but trailed 43-36 after the third quarter and were outscored 12-7 in the fourth.

Luke Hill passed for 113 yards, while Elijah Lewis rushed for 124 yards and Lane Ruppert caught passes for 71 yards.

Pine River scored in the first half on a 29-yard pass from Hill to Ruppert and runs of 1 by Hill, 2 by Lewis and 7 by Nelson. Lewis had a 6-yard touchdown run in the third and Hill a 1-yard run in the fourth.

Lewis also led the Bucks in tackles with nine.

“The Manton game was obviously a shootout,” Pine River Terry Martin said. “We did a nice job of using our possessions and putting together long drives, but they scored quickly every time they touched it.

“We knew they had explosive players on offense so we wanted to drive the ball and hope they made a couple mistakes on offense. We executed that plan pretty well but were not able to get the stops that we needed.”

The Bucks are at Grandville Calvin Christian on Friday in nonleague play.

“Calvin Christian looks to be a solid team with a good quarterback,” Martin said. “They have taken some lumps due to their tough schedule and being in a conference of big schools. We will have to be ready to switch gears from last week and cover a lot of spread formations to slow them down.”