Morley Stanwood 2-0 after 32-13 victory over Pine River

Morley Stanwood’s Aiden Nelson (11) fights for yardage. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

MORLEY — Morley Stanwood took advantage of key mistakes by Pine River to remain undefeated with Thursday’s 32-13 nonleague football victory.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Mohawks (2-0) enjoyed a huge 24-7 second quarter to take a 17-point lead into halftime against the Bucks (0-2)

Aiden Nelson rushed for 114 yards while Drew Jensen added 96 to lead a Morley Stanwood offense that gained 314 total yards. The Bucks had 106 yards passing but only 41 rushing.

“We still have some things we have to clean up,” Morley Stanwood coach Clark Huntey said. “There were too many fumbles again and too many turnovers. But we’re getting better at blocking. And we cleaned some things up. I thought our defense played outstanding.”

“We’re still making too many mistakes to win football games,” Pine River coach Terry Martin said. “We’re still struggling with special teams and formations, simple mistakes that are hurting us.”

Jensen opened the scoring in the second on 4-yard touchdown run and got the two points for the 8-0 lead. Elijah Lewis came back with a 75-yard kickoff return and the extra point made it 8-7 . After Nelson ran for a score and Jensen tallied for the two points, it was 16-7 and it appeared it would stay that way going into halftime. But a bad snap on a Pine River punt attempt with less than 20 seconds to play led to a Jensen 11-yard scoring run and 17-point halftime lead.

“We’re in the ballgame playing OK,” Martin said. “We have a bad formation that backs us up and after that we fumbled the snap on the punt.”

Scoring 24 points “is not a bad quarter,” Huntey said. “We had a few penalties we need to clean up that put us in a long-yardage situation. But a few of those times, we were able to execute and get some first downs.”

Nelson had a 42-yard touchdown run early in the fourth. The play was set up on a 25-yard pass from Kyle Robinette to Zack VanderPloeg. In the final quarter, Luke Hill passed 24 yards to Lewis for a touchdown.

“I thought we did really good,” Jensen said. “We had some really good blocking. We executed really good. We improved a lot (from last week).”

Hill passed for 78 yards. Malachi Holmes rushed for 32 yards to lead the Pine River offense.

Pine River defeated Morley Stanwood during the regular season and in the district title game last season.

In season openers last week, Morley Stanwood beat Central Montcalm 12-6 and Pine River lost to Kalkaska 33-8.

Both teams open defense of their respective conference titles next week (Sept. 8), Morley Stanwood in the Central State Activities Association Silver Division and Pine River in the Highland Conference. The Bucks will be home against Evart and the Mohawks will be at Hesperia.

“I told the kids we had an extra day this week and we have to commit to being better,” Nelson said. “We have a lot on the line next week. But we have to get better by next Friday.”


Clare 2, CCA 1

CLARE — Clare scored two second half goals to edge CCA 2-1 on Thursday. Tyler Omo scored the lone goal for the Cougars while Cameron Carnes made eight saves in net.

“It’s the second time we’ve been up and lost,” head coach Josh Yurick said. “We do some reorganizing next week and get back at it next week.”

CCA (1-4-0, 0-1) hosts Gladwin on Thursday.


Houghton Lake 4, Pine River 1

LEROY — Pine River lost to Houghton Lake on Thursday. It was 2-0 at halftime.

Caleb Bowman was in goal with nine saves in the first half  and had eight in the second half.

Hunter Poe on defense had 10 blocks in the first half and five in the second half.

Omar Aguilar had five shots and one goal while Jake Johnson had five shots, one assist and eight blocks.



Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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