Pine River prepares for St. Ignace
LEROY — Pine River gets a visit Friday night from the school just on the other side of the Mackinac Bridge.
The Bucks, 1-1, will have a non-league game against St. Ignace, 2-0
It will be a doubleheader with the JV game at 4:30 p.m., followed by the varsity at 7 p.m.
“They only have seniors but had (eight) sophomores last year,” said Pine River coach Chad Phillips. “They were 8-1 last season. Their only loss was to McBain and McBain was pretty good.”
Last Thursday, Pine River improved its record to 1-1 with a 44-38 home defeat over Benzie Central.
Abel Langworthy notched three touchdowns and picked up 198 yards for the winners.
“We had good blocking and good defense,” said Langworthy. “We made a lot of good stops against their offense. We had a lot of good open holes I could run through.”
Langworthy said his team improved “greatly” from a first-week loss to Kalkaska.
“It’s like we were another team,” said Langworthy. “We have to lay off the penalties. That’s what’s killing us.”
Joe Miller had two scores with an 8-yard run and 89-yard interception return.
Miller is a senior fullback and inside linebacker. He actually had two interceptions.
“On the first one I had, I got a little sucked up into the run but I noticed it was a pass so I dropped back to my landmark,” he said. “He threw it up and I got it with one hand and brought it back down. The second one, I had to make a move to it. It was into my direction. As soon as I caught it, I started running up the field as fast as I could and got some nice blocks from my teammates.”
Also for Pine River, Clay Stokes contributed 13 tackles and Devin Ruppert added 10.
We have real good potential,” Miller said. “We have a great chemistry among the teammates. We need to work as a team.”
“We won the turnover battle this week,” Phillips said. “We had a couple of our own. They had a few more than we did. That’s always important. It wasn’t a great defensive game although we did score on defense. We had a few more guys in our rotation and I think that helped us. We were a little deeper than they were. It was extremely hot that night, probably hotter than any practice we’ve had.”
The focus is on defense, this week, Langworthy said, adding that “we have to tighten things up.”