HANOVER, N.H. -– If you were rooting for Vermont, the Dartmouth College scoreboard wasn't a pretty sight following Saturday's 59th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.
New Hampshire scored eight touchdowns -– five on offense, two on defense and one on special teams –- and kicked two field goals en route to a 62-24 victory.
New Hampshire set a Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl record for points scored in a game. The 2000 Vermont team held the previous record (47).
“People will look at the score, but this was a football game for three quarters,” New Hampshire coach Mike Beliveau (Souhegan) said. “We played everybody a lot, and maybe that wore them down.”
New Hampshire's Chris Chininis (Souhegan) got New Hampshire on the scoreboard when he returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown one minute into the game. Mike Leonard (Trinity) helped double New Hampshire's lead when he returned a fumble 28 yards for a TD on Vermont's next possession.
“They fought back and made it game toward the end, but we had 14 points before the offense even stepped on the field and I think that was a huge part of the game,” Chininis said. “It wasn't just the offense. We won all three phases of the game.”
New Hampshire led 17-7 after one quarter, 34-21 at halftime and 41-24 entering the fourth.
“We were in a hole 14-0,” Vermont coach Mike Norman said. “The kids could have definitely rolled over and given up. They didn't. We made some plays and had some of the emotion. They had two or three kids who made some big-time plays.”
The victory stretched New Hampshire winning streak to 12 games. Vermont has been outscored 433-145 during that streak.
New Hampshire leads the series 44-13-2.
“Everybody will look a the score and say, 'They defense must have lousy on defense,'” Norman said. “No. The defense was on the field too much.”
Salem running back Jerickson Fedrick led the New Hampshire offense by rushing for a game-high 140 yards on 18 carries. Fedrick, who moved from Chelsea, Mass., to Salem when he was in middle school, also ran for three touchdowns.
Fedrick ran for 1,801 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, and rushed for 4,568 yards during his high school career.
New Hampshire also received two TD catches from Manchester Central's Junior Brown.
Timberlane's Evan Bidgood was the most effective of New Hampshire's three quarterbacks. He completed 16 of 21 pass attempts for 186 yards and a TD.
Vermont quarterback Robert Coloutti (Fair Haven) completed 18 of 41 passes for 289 yards and three TDs. Levi Ellis (Fair Haven), Marshall Hastings (Middlebury) and Kyle Kelly (Rutland) each caught a TD pass.
Kelly led Vermont in receptions (seven) and Ellis led Vermont in receiving yardage (126).
When halftime arrived, a lightning storm came with it. As a precaution, the stands were cleared of spectators. The third quarter began after a 90-minute delay.
The delay didn't seem to bother Vermont, which forced turnovers on two of New Hampshire's first three second-half possessions. It was a 10-point game (34-24) after Jakob Oliver (Burr and Burton) kicked a 22-yard field goal with 11:06 left in the third quarter.
New Hampshire scored the game's final four TDs, one of which came when Codey Dalton (Manchester Memorial) returned an interceptions 37 yards.
“We were down 10 points, we needed to convert on a third down and we didn't,” Vermont coach Mike Norman said. “We punted, they scored and then we had to start throwing it around. They beat us, but we didn't help ourselves.”
KICKING THINGS AROUND
New Hampshire received two field goals (38 and 22 yards) from Conor Donovan (Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough). Donovan also averaged 45.5 yards on four punts.
New Hampshire's Dan Gorman made each of his eight point-after kicks.
LET'S MAKE A DEAL
David Orr, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl media director, said this was the first year of a three-year contract with Dartmouth, which means the 2013 and 2014 games will also be played in Hanover, N.H.
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 fumble 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.