Pine River falls to Lake City, travels to Evart

LEROY — Allowing two touchdowns within eight seconds of each other isn’t going to ignite a high school football team.

Pine River learned that lesson the hard way Friday night in a 31-14 Highland Conference loss to Lake City.

Quarterback Drew Marion threw three touchdown passes to Jacob Siler and passed for 213 yards to spark the undefeated Trojans.

The Bucks fell to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the Highland.

“The run play, we were pretty good against them,” said Pine River coach Chad Phillips. “We gave up a few plays here and there, but we were better on the run. But we couldn’t get a stop on third or fourth down against the pass. They made catches right on top of us.”

Lake City, 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Highland, entered the game with a 120-13 scoring advantage over its opponents in the first three contests. But the Bucks gave the Trojans all they could handle for most of the game.

The Trojans only had 132 yards on the ground.

With an 8-8 halftime tie, Adam Williams returned the kickoff 35 yards to the Bucks’ 33. Six plays later, Jared Hansen took it in from 15 yards away for a 15-8 Lake City lead.

Lake City then recovered an onside kick at the Bucks 39. The Trojans called timeout and on the first play back, Marion passed 39 yards to Siler for the second LC touchdown within eight seconds for a 22-8 lead. With 4:34 to play in the third, it was Marion to Siler again for 20-yard pass play and a 29-8 lead.

The Bucks came back for a 70-yard drive with Abel Langworthy running it in from four yards out, making it 29-14.

Quentin Mitchell intercepted a pass early in the fourth quarter to stop a LC drive. The Bucks recovered a fumble at their own 2-yard line midway in the fourth quarter to stop another Trojan scoring bid. But one play later, a Lake City tackle in the end zone gave the Trojans two points.

In the first half, Pine River took the opening kickoff down the field for almost eight minutes, fueled by a facemask penalty, but the drive was stopped on fourth down at the one-foot line.

But on the next play, Pine River lineman John Lenz tackled Jared Hansen in the end zone for a 2-0 lead. The Bucks scored on Langworthy’s 1-yard run with 28 seconds remaining.

“The guard kind of moved out of the way and left the hole there,” Lenz said. “I just went through and got the tackle.”

Pine River’s ball control allowed Lake City to have only three plays in the first quarter.

Ken Anderson intercepted a pass early in the second for the Bucks. But Lake City came back with a touchdown at 7:48 on Marion’s 36-yard scoring pass and converted for the two points to tie the game. The Bucks drove deep in Trojan territory late in the half but Caleb Davenport’s interception stopped the drive.

“I thought we played well offensively and had a nice first drive we didn’t convert but came back and had that second drive,” Phillips said. “I was pretty happy with how we played on offense. The problem is we didn’t get that many plays in the third quarter. They got that onside kick. They scored three touchdowns when we ran only three offensive plays.”

“At halftime, I was very, very happy,” Lenz said. “We’re usually good against the run. We had a few pass plays that got us.”

Pine River quarterbacks Skyler Nelson passed for 117 yards. Quinton Mitchell caught four passes for 63 yards.

Pine River gained 153 yards on the ground, led by Dakota Wieczorek with 80 yards.

“They’re a good team,’” Phillips said. “When they needed a play, their kids came up with one.”

The Bucks play at Evart this Friday in Highland Conference action.

“We have the trophy game we started with them,” Phillips said, referring to the Armed Forces trophy. “We started it last year and won the first meeting and raised over $900 for the Wounded Warrior project. We’ll try to do that again.”