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Florence's Duchien, Glacier's Johnson earn football honor from Missoulian/Republic Services - FlagSpin

Florence’s Duchien, Glacier’s Johnson earn football honor from Missoulian/Republic Services

Florence senior Patrick Duchien Jr. is a standout three-sport athlete — and that’s just this past spring.

He played on the baseball team that reached the state semifinals, he took 30th in the State B golf tournament and he qualified for two events at the State B track and field meet.

Duchien is an even better basketball player. But he’s best on the gridiron, he’s a future Montana State Bobcat football athlete and he’s now the Missoulian/Republic Services football player of the year.

Duchien quarterbacked the Falcons to back-to-back State B championships and a 23-2 record the past two seasons, the first team in the classification to repeat since 2017. The 2021 title was their first since 1977 and it came in their first championship game appearance since 1980.

Duchien finished his senior season with 36 touchdown passes against five interceptions along with 20 rushing scores in 13 games. He totaled six touchdowns in this year’s 48-7 title game win over rival Loyola Sacred Heart in the Bitterroot Valley.

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Duchien led the Falcons to an 11-2 record this past fall even as they had to replace five seniors from the undefeated 2021 team who went on to play in college. They had defeated Bigfork 42-0 in the 2021 chipper. He took them to the semifinals in 2020 as a sophomore.

“Going out as a senior winning two state championships, it’s just something super special,” Duchien said after winning the title. “To do it with my dad as our head coach is just so awesome. This one, I feel like we had a lot more adversity throughout the year having a couple losses and having to battle back. I felt like it was something super special to be able to come out here, still compete and win a state championship.”

Girls flag football

Kalispell Glacier junior Kai Johnson was a force in leading the Wolfpack to the girls flag football championship in the MHSA’s first-year pilot program.

Johnson, the team’s quarterback, threw the extra-point pass that proved to create the 1-point final margin in the state title game. Glacier won 20-19 in overtime against crosstown rival Kalispell Flathead in October.

Johnson had tied the game at 13 to force overtime when she threw an 8-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left. Earlier, Johnson intercepted a pass at the goal line when it looked like Glacier was about to fall down two scores. She then turned around on offense to heave a 62-yard touchdown pass.

“I think my favorite part of this (season) was practice because getting closer with all the girls on the team was my favorite part,” Johnson said after winning the title at Wa-Griz. “I’ve made so many more close friends, it’s awesome. I didn’t think I’d make this many. I hope that a lot more teams across Montana start flag football because they’d agree.”

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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