DURHAM - Some extra effort was required from both teams in Saturday's CHaD East-West All-Star Football Game.
The game was tied at the end of regulation, and then Goffstown tailback Connor Benjamin scored on an 8-yard run in overtime to hand the West a 13-7 victory at the University of New Hampshire's Cowell Stadium.
"I wanted to get in and score more than anything," Benjamin said. "I ran my hardest and it paid off. We worked hard all week for this."
The same overtime format used in NHIAA football games was used Saturday. Each team had a possession from the 10-yard line. The East had the ball first and moved to the 1 before Exeter's Jamie Vogt fumbled on third down.Benjamin's TD run came two plays later.
"I feel bad for the kid who fumbled, but what are you going to do - that's part of the game," West coach Jim Schubert said. "I thought our kids played real hard, and that's all I cared about."
The West had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Portsmouth's Rick Holt blocked Zach Ziemba's 41-yard field goal attempt as time expired. Ziemba, who played at Manchester West, made the point-after kick following the West's first TD.
The West now has a 2-0 advantage in the series. The West won the inaugural game 44-12 last summer.
"Real good football game," East coach Bob Camirand said. "Obviously we were disappointed losing, but I can live with this. It was a great effort on both sides. Two quality teams and I thought two well-coached teams."
The East trailed by seven until running back Ryan Monette scored on a 1-yard run with 10:48 to play. Monette, who played for St. Thomas Aquinas in Dover, rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 25 carries. He also caught a 15-yard pass and gained 22 yards on two punt returns.
The only scoring in the first half came on a 1-yard pass from quarterback James Caparell to former Bedford teammate Brian Collins with 3:42 left in the first quarter. The scoring drive covered 60 yards in six plays. The big play was a 47-yard pass from Caparell to Collins, who had three catches for 53 yards in the victory.
Caparell completed 8 of 12 pass attempts for 97 yards. Benjamin, who was a quarterback during his junior and senior seasons at Goffstown, led the West running game with 57 yards on 14 carries.
The East's best scoring chance in the first half was a 35-yard field goal attempt by Exeter's Logan Laurent that was wide left.
Each team had 12 first downs in the game. The East had a 225-211 edge in total offense.