Back Row: Coach Dean Blackledge, Manager G. Corliss, M. Johnson, R. Beech, M. Raymond, T. Holmes, B. Lucas, Coach Raven,
Middle Row: F. Swanson, D. Bates, C. Beech, J. Johnson, D. Peterson, J. Dean,
Front Row: D. Peterson, J. Nyland, E. Jennings, G. Wanstead, J. Johnson, D. Ruppert, P. Harris
New Pine River Coach Dean Blackledge led the 1970 Bucks to the school’s first winning record. The Bucks didn’t play the first week of the season and lost to Roscommon in the 2nd week. In the 3rd week the Bucks shutout Lake City and then dropped a game against Beal City by 4 in the 4th week. The most exciting game of the year came next against Onekema on the Bucks homecoming. Onekema opened up a 14-0 lead before Mark Raymond sacked Onekama’s punter in the end zone for a safety and Tony Holmes returned a punt 48 yards for a TD. A Fred Swanson to Joe Johnson TD pass tied the game at 14 all. With 3 minutes left Onekama scored and the Bucks looked doomed. The Bucks refused to lose however, and they put together a 78 yard drive of their own capped by a pass from Fed Swanson to Tony Holmes with only 2 seconds left to tie the game. Fred Swanson hit Joe Johnson on a pass for the 2 point conversion and the 22-20 win. The following week the Bucks lost big to Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart and then they won big against Baldwin. After the Baldwin game, the Bucks played the Marion Eagles in what was called a “grudge game.” The Eagles had seemingly ran up the score on Pine River in the Buck’s inaugural season back in ’66 a no one had forgotten it. The Bucks were defeated 93-6 in that game. The Bucks played inspired and racked up a 42-0 beat down of the Eagle. The game started with a bang when Tony Holmes ran back the opening kick for a TD. Holmes was a force that night as he returned an interception for a TD and ran in a TD from 25 yards out. Those two games (the 1966 loss and the 1970 win) are two of the most frequently talked about games in Pine River Football history. The Bucks finished up the season with a 52-0 shutout of Manton and a very respectable 5-3 record.