The Pine City football team hosted North Branch in the home season opener Thursday night.
The Vikings received the ball 1st to begin the game. The marched down field with nothing but runs putting the 1st points on the board on a 19 scamper by Preston Peterson. The Dragons would have their turn but it was quickly shut down by a stout North Branch defense. The Vikings would take over and Peterson would score again from 46 yards out. Pine City's offense just seemingly couldn't get the jump start they needed. After taking over on offense it took one play to create a turnover and North Branch stole the ball back. A few plays later Peterson again found himself in the endzone to extend the Vikings lead 22-0 in the 1st quarter. Pine City's offense continued to be stuck on a rut and North Branch's Loghan Croal would add another touchdown before the end of the 1st.
Going into the 2nd quarter the Dragons found some success with the passing game but not enough to get past the shutdown Viking defenders. North Branch would find the endzone twice more before half and lead 44-0 going into the break.
With their opening possession in the 2nd half Pine City seemed to find a rhythm and pushed past the 50 into North Branch territory for the first time in the game. That was short lived as the Vikings put a quick end to the drive. After taking the ball back North Branch added another score from Jacob Robillard making it 52-0. The next Pine City drive saw them get into the redzone and have a chance at points. From the 16 yard line Bryce Erickson found Mason Charles in the back of the endzone for their first points of the night. Erickson would add on the 2 point conversion, 52-8. The Vikings Lavonte Fisher would cap off the scoring in the game with a 21 yard rushing touchdown and the 2 point conversion after to seal it 60-8.
Pine City drops to 0-1 on the season and will be in Aitkin next Friday.
North Branch is 1-0 and will travel to Duluth East next Friday.
Photo Credit: Joe Keyport