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Class B football roundup: Florence drums Bigfork in key Western B battle

Jonny Chamberlin
Posted at 11:19 PM, Sep 18, 2020

BIGFORK -- Pat Duchien Jr. threw for 322 yards and four touchdowns as Florence toppled Bigfork 33-14 in a marquee Western B football showdown on Friday night.

Duchien had touchdown passes of 33, 9, 18 and 13 yards; two of those scores going to wideout Levi Posey. Duchien and Posey connected for a 9-yard strike to give the Falcons a 14-6 lead at the half, then Duchien hit Posey for an 18-yard touchdown minutes into the second half to put the Falcons ahead by 15.

Bigfork got 217 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns from Cormac Benn, who opened the game with a 3-yard rushing score to put the Vikings up 6-0. Benn added an 89-yard touchdown minutes after Posey's second score, but the Vikings couldn't close the gap.

Tristan Pyette found the end zone on a 9-yard touchdown run near the end of the third quarter, then Pyette hauled in a pass over the middle from Duchien and danced 13 yards into the end zone with 3:21 remaining, sealing the victory for the Falcons.

"I have to shout out to the offensive line, because they were giving me a pocket all night and I had room to throw," said Duchien, who was 16-of-33 passing. "I had turnovers, lots of mistakes, but my brothers had my back all game and we were able to pull it out."

"We definitely started off slow. On offense we had a couple turnovers we could have avoided, but we made up for it on defense, coming up strong and fighting until the end, until every whistle," said defensive lineman Ethan Abbott, a Maryland transfer. "This was a pretty important win to us. We felt pretty confident that this could have been the conference championship."

The two teams started sluggish, with Duchien getting intercepted on the Falcons' first drive on a tipped ball, where Bigfork's Isak Epperley laid out for the interception. But the Vikings turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing possession, giving Florence life.

Duchien found Posey for a 65-yard gain inside the 10 but was intercepted again in the end zone by Nick Smetana moments later.

That led to Benn's first touchdown, a short plunge for his eighth score of the season. But Florence settled in from there, as Duchien found a groove and the Falcons' defense made stops when it needed them.

Zach Dixon was credited with 10.5 tackles for Florence, while Bryce Gilliard led the Vikings with five.

Class B football scores

Big Timber 16, Jefferson 15
Columbus 48, Three Forks 6
Eureka 40, Anaconda 7
Fairfield 30, Conrad 24
Florence 33, Bigfork 14
Glasgow 44, Cut Bank 7
Huntley Project 48, Colstrip 22
Manhattan 52, Missoula Loyola 7
Red Lodge 47, Baker 14
Roundup 60, Harlem 14
Townsend 31, Whitehall 13