New Hampshire clobbers Vermont 62-24 in Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl

HANOVER – All week, Mike Beliveau was worried about becoming known as the New Hampshire coach who couldn’t beat Vermont in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.

No need to worry about that now.

The Granite State team not only avenged Beliveau’s loss in the 2000 game; it obliterated it from the record books.

New Hampshire scored 14 points just 1:10 into the game, overcame a weather delay that made halftime two hours long, and crushed Vermont 62-24 on Saturday at Dartmouth College’s Memorial Field.

The point total for New Hampshire set a record for most points scored by a single team, beating the record of 47 points, scored by the Vermont team that defeated Beliveau 12 years ago. That was also the last time the Granite State failed to win the annual battle, with this year’s victory stretching the win streak to a dozen.

“It’s a coincidence,” Beliveau said when asked about coaching in two of the highest-scoring Shrine games. “My approach is that we have all-stars, we need to get as many of them into the end zone as we can. A 3-0 game isn’t an all-star game.”

The 59th edition of the Shrine game was never in danger of being low-scoring.

Jerickson Fredrick, of Salem, rushed for 140 yards and three touchdowns, and Souhegan’s Chris Chininis returned a punt 61 yards for New Hampshire’s first score just 60 seconds into the game. Trinity’s Mike Leonard, from Merrimack, returned a fumble 28 yards for a touchdown on Vermont’s next play, making it 14-0 with 13:50 left in the opening quarter.

A 38-yard field goal by Connor Donovan put New Hampshure up 17-0 and the lead swelled to 31-7 with 4:25 left in the first half.

But that’s when Vermont began to make its move. Quarterback Rob Coloutti led Vermont on two scoring drives – both of which ended on touchdown passes to Marshall Hastings and Kyle Kelly, respectively – to make it 31-21. Donovan hit a 22-yard field goal as time expired to give New Hampshire a 34-21 lead at halftime.

“Vermont was playing well and hanging in there,” Beliveau said. “They were probably looking at, if you take away those early (scores), and it’s a close game.”

It would be a while until the teams returned to the field. Lightning was spotted not long after the 30-minute halftime came to an end, and the start of the second half was delayed for more than 90 minutes.

When the game resumed, New Hampshire turned the ball over on its first possession and Vermont’s Jakob Oliver kicked a 22-yard field goal to make it a 10-point game again.

“Both teams came out at the half all stiff and tired,” said New Hampshire’s Sam Prive, of Merrimack. “We knew we had a high-powered offense, once we had the momentum, there was no stopping us.”

It took a while, but New Hampshire went up 41-24 on a 36-yard run by Fedrick with 4:47 left in the third quarter. The Granite State added three more scores in the fourth, breaking the scoring record on a touchdown pass from Cody Dalton to Junior Brown that made it 48-24 with 14:10 left.

“They were a little down going into the locker room,” Beliveau said of his players. “But when the delay got longer, it got them crazier to get back on the field.”

Chinins finished the game with 146 total yards and Souhegan teammates Tim Beliveau (three catches, 19 yards) and Rob McCormick (5 of 9 passing, 58 yards, one interception) also contributed on offense.

Prive started at center and Hollis Brookline’s Zach Migneault saw time on the offensive line. Milford’s Jordan Gaudette and HB’s Colin Pellerin got most of their time on defense.

The win improves New Hampshire’s record in the series to 44-13-2. Next year’s game – the 60th – will be held Aug. 3 at Dartmouth College.