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Vermont falls in waning seconds

With a little more than three minutes left to play in the fifty-fourth Annul Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, and the score deadlocked 20 - 20, the Vermont stars were in a solid position to win.

But faced with a fourth-and-one from New Hampshires fifteen yard line Vermont elected to go for the first down, instead of kicking the go ahead field goal. Unfortunately for Vermont running back David Velazquez (Brattleboro) was stopped cold for no gain and the Green Mountain State had to relinquish the football. That was disappointment number one.

Disappointment number two occurred shortly after the first. Vermont stopped New Hampshire and had possession of the football deep in their own territory in the games final seconds. It looked like the worse Vermont could achieve was a tie. But then with fifteen seconds left Vermont quarterback, Corey Robinson from Otter Valley, threw a pass that was intercepted by Eric Laliberte, who returned it to Vermonts 30-yard line. Two plays later place kicker Bryan Farris hit a twenty-seven yard field goal to give the Granite State the 23 - 20 win, spoiling Vermonts comeback attempt.

The Green Mountain State all-stars were trailing 20 - 6 at the half, but battled back to be tied at 20 - 20 in the games final minutes. Two turnovers keyed the comeback. Defensive end Jason Foster from Mount St. Joseph sacked New Hampshire quarterback Bryan Farris at midfield, hitting him so hard he coughed the ball up and Vermont recovered. Robinson then drove them down to the one-yard line where he dove in cutting the lead to 20 - 12 halfway through the third quarter.

On New Hampshires very next possession Vermonts defense came up big again. Scooter Scott from Brattleboro made a huge interception that lead to a fifteen yard touchdown strike from Robinson to Burlingtons Andrew Plumley. Robinson then connected with Matthew Littler of Rutland for the two-point conversion, tying the game at 20 - 20, setting the stage for the games exciting finish.

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