New Hampshire's seniors all star football team jumped out to a quick 20-0 advatage, survived a Vermont attempted comeback, and hung on to claim a 34-20 win the 57th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, played in Essex at MacLeay-Royce Field, on Saturday, August 7th. The win was the tenth straight for New Hampshire, and they now hold a commanding 42-13-2 lead in the annual series..
It didn't take long for New Hampshire to get on the scoreboard. Connor Lyons picked off Vermont quarterback Keegan Corbett's (Mount Anthony) 2nd pass attempt of the game and returned it ninety yards for a new Shrine game record and a 7-0 New Hampshire lead. It became 14-0 when Quarterback Dylan Brodeur completed a 47 yard touchdown pass to Ryan Simpson. Then when Derek Furey ran in a touchdown from 13 yards out to make it 20-0 things looked bleak for Vermont, but they weren't done yet.
Vermont got on the board midway through the second quarter when Burlington's Cooper Wile scored from four yards out. Then with just 22 seconds left in the half Essex's Pat Nee caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Spaulding's Zach Dessureau. Just like that it was 20-14 and it looked like the Green Mountain Boys would hold all the momentum at the half, but things change quickly in football.
New Hampshire took that momentum right back when they took the ensuing kickoff and using three different ball carriers (Zach Kelleher, Jake Cavanaugh and Lyons) returned it 88 yards to put New Hampshire up at the break 27-14. They quickly increased that lead to 34-14 when Tanner Baillargeon ran in a touchdown from 18 yards out. Vermont would score once more with just four minutes left in the game when Corbett connected Brandon Boyce (Springfield) down the sideline for a 46-yard touchdown catch.