LEROY — Pine River kept itself in the game and played well but dropped a 21-12 decision to Houghton Lake in a Highland Conference football contest Friday night.
"This was tough," Pine River coach Terry Martin said. "I'm pretty heartbroken for my kids because we played pretty good ball tonight.
"I'm proud of the kids and proud of the leadership our seniors showed through the adversity tonight."
Houghton Lake led 7-0 after the first quarter and 21-6 at halftime.
"They had three TDs on three long plays," Martin said. "The rest of the night, the probably had 100 yards of offense."
Rogan Nelson paced Pine River with 66 yards rushing on nine carries while also going 2 of 8 through the air for 33 yards and one touchdown. Brian Fauble caught the 23-yards touchdown pass from Nelson.
Zach Lemmon and Thomas Hooker paced the defense with seven tackles apiece while Brock Nelson had six tackles, including three for a loss.
Pine River is at Lake City next Friday.