Pine River rolls over Benzie Central


BENZONIA — The Pine River Bucks improved to 2-0 on Friday night with a lopsided 55-13 nonleague football victory over Benzie Central.

The Bucks put up 42 points in the first quarter and took a 42-0 lead into halftime. Benzie added two scores in the second half, but Pine River added seven points in the third and six more in the fourth to secure the 55-13 win.

“The offense executed well,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “We got help from our special teams. It’s nice to have the offense doing so well and for special teams to be helping out.”

Brandon Fulks returned four kicks on the evening and netted two touchdowns and 221 return yards while also adding 52 yards on nine carries for two more touchdowns. Jeff Gross had five carries for 93 yards and a touchdown while Mason Powell had three carries for 71 yards and a touchdown and Mitch McDonald added six carries for 67 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.

“Everybody has executed well,” Martin said. “People are fulfilling their roles.”

The Bucks have outscored their first two opponents 94-19.

“While we’re picking up good numbers, we’ve yet to pick up a 100-yard rusher,” Martin said. “We haven’t had a lot of opportunities to use our pass game we want to utilize that more.”

Martin has also been pleased with the defensive performance.

Both offense and defenses will get a home test against defending Highland Conference and Division 8 state runners-up Beal City, which is 2-0. But the Aggies fell behind 14-0 to Clare before rallying for 15 straight points and taking a 15-14 victory.

“I think it will be a great game,” Martin said. “You have two undefeated teams with (explosive) offenses and strong defenses. I’m glad our team has a chance to be a part of this.”

Beal City’s close shave with Clare showed the Aggies might be vulnerable. But they trounced Sacred Heart in the season opener and are still considered a state championship contending team.

“The team we have now is up to the excitement of the challenge,” Martin said. “It starts out our conference season with a lot of competition.”

Herald Review sports writer Daine Pavloski also contributed to this report.