Pine River loses narrow verdict to Manton

MANTON — The Pine River Bucks suffered a 30-27 Highland Conference loss to Manton on Friday night.

Brandon Fulks led the Bucks with an 83-yard kick return touchdown and his 20th rushing touchdown of his career to set the school record.

“We fell behind in the second quarter and the beginning of the third quarter kind of killed us,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “We had a shot at it at the end, but we came up a little bit short.”

Mason Powell threw for 99 yards and Greg Park had 72 yards receiving, while Fulks had 12 carries for 68 yards. Dominic Garcia had 13 tackles and Luke Sizemore added 12 stops.

“Their quarterback and tailback had nice games against us,” Martin said. “I don’t think there was anything we weren’t prepared for. We made a lot of mental mistakes early in the game that came back to haunt us. We had eight broken plays in the first half with someone in the wrong position and a number of penalties against us.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot. In combination with them playing well, it made it hard to catch up.”

The Bucks (4-3, 2-2 Highland) receive a forfeit win over Marion next week before closing out the regular season with a trip to McBain in Week 9.

McBain will play at Beal City Friday.

“We’re a little bit banged up like everyone,” Martin said. “It will be nice to rest some of those injuries and maybe get some people back at the end of the year. Outside of that, I don’t see any advantages to a bye week.”

Sports Editor Greg Buckner contributed to this report.