NH lights up Vermont, 62-24
HANOVER — During media day for this year's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, New Hampshire coach Mike Beliveau talked about how his Souhegan High School teams enter every contest with the goal of scoring one defensive touchdown and another TD on special teams.
Less than three minutes into Saturday's 59th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, New Hampshire had collected one of each.
Souhegan's Chris Chininis ran back a punt 61 yards for a touchdown one minute into the game, and Trinity's Mike Leonard picked a fumble out of the air and returned it 28 yards for a TD on the ensuing possession to help New Hampshire roll to a 62-24 victory at Dartmouth College.
“People will look at the final score, but this was a football game through three quarters,” Beliveau said. “Maybe overall our skill set, our line and our versatility on defense as far as rotating big body, small body — we really played everybody a lot and maybe that wore them down.”
The victory stretched New Hampshire's winning streak to 12 and gave the Granite State a 44-13-2 series advantage.
New Hampshire's 62 points set the record for points by one team. The 2000 Vermont team set the previous record of 47. Beliveau was also New Hampshire head coach that year.
Vermont committed four turnovers in the game, two of which resulted in New Hampshire touchdowns.
“They beat us, but we didn't help ourselves,” Vermont coach Mike Norman said. “In a perfect world that doesn't happen. You make them earn everything. We were in a hole, 14-0. The kids could have definitely rolled over and given up. They didn't.”
Salem running back Jerickson Fedrick ran for three touchdowns and Manchester Central receiver Junior Brown caught two TD passes. Fedrick rushed for a game-high 140 yards on 18 carries.
Vermont trailed 31-7 at one point, but made it a 34-24 game when Jakob Oliver kicked a 22-yard field goal with 11:06 left in the third quarter. It was all New Hampshire after that, however, as the Granite State scored the game's final four TDs.
“Our defense was on the field too much,” Norman said. “I thought our kids played hard to the end. We just broke down and made some mistakes.
“We were hoping to get in within three, but stuff happened and we had to start slinging it around.”
New Hampshire used three quarterbacks: Timberlane's Evan Bidgood, Souhegan's Rob McCormick and Manchester Memorial's Cody Dalton. Bidgood completed 16 of 21 pass attempts for 186 yards.
Vermont quarterback Robert Coloutti completed 18 of 41 passes for 289 yards, three TDs and an interception.
New Hampshire led 17-7 after one quarter, 34-21 at halftime and 41-24 entering the fourth. The game was delayed 90 minutes at halftime because of lightning.
It was 31-7 after Brown hauled in a 3-yard TD pass from Bidgood and Dan Gorman made the PAT with 4:25 left in the first half, but Vermont responded with touchdowns on its next two drives. First, Coloutti found Marshall Hastings for a 32-yard TD pass, and then Coloutti hooked up with Kyle Kelly for a 3-yard TD pass that helped made it 31-21 with 36 seconds left in the half.
New Hampshire recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, and moved into field goal range when Bidgood completed a 27-yard pass to Brown that put the ball on the Vermont 7. Conor Donovan's second field goal capped the first-half scoring and gave New Hampshire a 34-21 lead.
“They had two or three kids who made big plays,” Norman said. “They made plays and we didn't.”
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NEW HAMPSHIRE 62, VERMONT 24
New Hampshire 17 17 7 21 — 62
Vermont 7 14 3 0 — 24
NH—Chris Chininis 61-yard punt return (Dan Gorman kick), 14:00.
NH—Mike Leonard 28-yard interception return (Gorman kick), 12:14.
NH—FG Conor Donovan 38, 5:31.
VT—Levi Ellis 79 pass from Robert Coloutti (Jakob Oliver kick), 4:58.
NH—Jerickson Fedrick 1 run (Gorman kick), 12:15.
NH—Junior Brown 3 pass from Evan Bidgood (Gorman kick), 4:25.
VT—Marshall Hastings 32 pass from Coloutti (Oliver kick), 2:18.
VT—Coloutti 3 pass to Kyle Kelly (Oliver kick), :36.
NH—FG Donovan 22, 0:00.
VT—FG Oliver 22, 11:06.
NH—Fedrick 37 run (Gorman kick), 4:47.
NH—Brown 10-yard pass from Codey Dalton (Gorman kick), 14:10.
NH—Dalton 37 interception return (Gorman kick), 13:22.
NH—Fedrick 8 run (Gorman kick), 3:12.