Pine River to host Marion in Friday’s homecoming game

MANTON — Pine River will look to snap its four-game losing streak Friday night when the Bucks have their homecoming battle against Marion in Highland Conference action.

Manton scored twice in the second quarter and once more in the third to pull out a 21-0 football victory over Pine River on Friday.

“We play hard every night, it’s just our execution,” said Pine River coach Chad Phillips “We got stopped on the one on our first drive of the game. We were in the red zone three times. It would have been huge if we had three scores. We definitely had the opportunity to score but didn’t put it in.”

Dakota Wieczorek led the offensive effort for the Bucks, throwing for 46 yards. He also rushed for 32 yards.

Devin Ruppert led the defense with nine tackles while Tyler McCurry finished with seven stops.

“Our defense was on the field way too long because we had some three-and-outs,” Ruppert said.

It was the first full game the Bucks played without quarterback Skyler Nelson, who suffered a season-ending broken collarbone injury on Sept. 21 against Evart.

“I think our new quarterback Dakota, has some jitters because he hasn’t played there yet,” Ruppert said. “It was hard for him to go into that without much practice all season long. Considering the circumstances, we did OK.”

“We tried to adjust losing our quarterback,” said Phillips. “Mental errors have kind of plagued us all year. We make mistakes in games that we don’t normally make in practice. I’m not sure why that is” Wieczorek had not played quarterback before, Phillips noted.

“He’s always been a running back. He brings a different threat running the ball,” Phillips said. “We had a couple of nice pass plays.”

The Bucks, 1-5, will seek their second win against Marion.

“They’re a pretty young team,” Phillips said. “They start some freshmen and sophomores. They have a couple of big running backs. We can’t let them get a bunch of yards after contact.”

“We’ll have to stop their run,” Ruppert said. “Our offense has to move the ball. We can’t get to the goal-line and not score three times.”

Pioneer prep editor Bob Allan contributed to this report.