Reed City defeats Pine River

Phillip Price-Jones fights for yardage.
Phillip Price-Jones fights for yardage.

REED CITY — Pine River and Reed City football teams have both made the state semifinal round in recent years.

On Friday, both playoff-bound teams had one last chance to prepare for the postseason.

Reed City finished at 9-0 with a 46-0 win over the 6-3 Bucks. The two teams found out on Sunday night who they will play in the first round of the postseason on Friday. Pine River is at McBain and Reed City home against Benzie Central..

Reed City, ranked No. 3 in the state’s Associated Press poll, was state semifinalists last year Pine River reached the state semifinal in 2016.

Its’s the sixth time since 2011 Reed City has gone 9-0 in the regular season.

The Coyotes fired out to a 30-0 halftime lead and added 16 points in third quarter.

“It’s a great win,” Reed City coach Monty Price said. “Pine River has had a great season. It’s a playoff caliber team. They’re physical. I was a little disappointed with some of our smaller detail execution.”

“They’re a very good team,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “We made a couple of mistakes early. You can’t do that against a good team.”

Pine River stopped Reed City defensively early in the first quarter. But a wet ball squirted out of the hands of quarterback Luke Hill and was recovered by Reed City’s Jackson Price in the end zone for an 8-0 lead.

“To give it to them right back in the end zone was a crushing blow,” Martin said. “We had a couple of mistakes early.”

Phillip Jones-Price had a 20-yard scoring run for a 16-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Price and Brandon Major combined for touchdown passes of 80 and 19 yards for the 30-0 lead. In the third, Reed City had scoring runs of 15 yards by Price and 1 yard by Jones-Price.

“The key behind our success has been discipline and hard work,” Coyote running back Connor Agan said. “This team, I think is better than last year. Our team is very confident.”

Reed City had 44 rushes for 305 yards. Jones-Price had 21 for 123. Price had 66 yards.

Cody S. Kailing led the defense with six tackles while Mason Bush had five tackles with a fumble recovery and Austin Whitehead had five tackles.

Pine River had 106 yards of offense, led by Elijah Lewis with 29 yards.

“We wanted to try to spread the ball out because we knew they were going to pack it in the box,” Martin said. “We wanted to try to get the ball outside a couple of ways. They beat us on the line of scrimmage. Defensively, we wanted to put on 10 guys and try to stop the run.”

Reed City defeated Pine River 50-10 last season.

“There’s things we have to get better at,” Price said. “We have to clean some things up. We have to go back to work and focus on those little things.”