LEROY – Pine River will attempt to bounce back from a 31-16 season-opening loss at home to Kalkaska when they play at Benzie Central Thursday in non-league action.

Pine River coach Chad Phillips noted that Benzie Central also has been struggling for numbers, like the Bucks, but is expecting a challenging game.

He's hoping to get off to a better start this time. At halftime against Kalkaska, the Bucks were down 16-0. Pine River got on the board in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Brandon Sulks, who gained 62 yards on seven carries.

“We played hard,” Phillips said. “We can't question everybody's effort. We only suited up 17 guys. They laid it on the field. I was proud of them for that. We defensively have a ways to go.”

Defensively, Sulks had eight tackles compared to 11 each for Devin Ruppert and Clay Stokes. Dakota Wieczorek had an interception.

“We made more mistakes than Kalkaska did,” Phillips said.

While Benzie Central will host Pine River, Evart will visit Harrison on Thursday

“They have a heavy running attack,” said Evart coach Pat Craven. “They have a solid running back we'll have to be aware of.”

Evart beat Suttons Bay 37-0.

“After watching film, we were pleased with the kids' effort,” Craven said. “We're working to fix some of the small issues we had last Friday night.”