The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

February 3, 2013

Lights out: Ravens beat 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl

New Orleans — NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A power outage at the Super Bowl put the nation's biggest sporting event on hold for more than a half-hour Sunday, interrupting an otherwise electric, back-and-forth game that ended with Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens as NFL champions thanks to a 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Flacco, voted the MVP, threw three first-half touchdown passes to cap an 11-TD, zero-interception postseason. Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff 108 yards, a Super Bowl record, to give Baltimore a 28-6 lead.

Moments later, lights lining the indoor arena faded, making it difficult to see. When action resumed, Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers scored 17 consecutive points, getting as close as 31-29.

But Baltimore stopped San Francisco on fourth-and-goal from the 5 with under 2 minutes left when Kaepernick's pass sailed beyond Michael Crabtree in the end zone.

The biggest deficit a team has ever overcome to win a Super Bowl is 10 points, and there were moments were it appeared San Francisco had a chance to better that mark. Instead, the 49ers lost for the first time in six trips to the Super Bowl.

The AFC champion Ravens (14-6), a franchise that moved from Cleveland to Baltimore 17 years ago, improved to 2-0 in the big game. They also won the championship in 2001, when linebacker Ray Lewis was voted the game's MVP. Lewis was not a major factor this time, but he was a center of attention, playing in the final game of his 17-year career before retiring.

The 49ers struggled early in the first Super Bowl coaching matchup between brothers: Baltimore's John Harbaugh is 15 months older than San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh.

Baltimore led 28-6 after Jones opened the second half with the longest kickoff return in a Super Bowl, his eyes glancing up at the videoboard, presumably to watch himself sprint to the end zone. The 49ers showed they were capable of a comeback in their previous game: They trailed by 17 against the Atlanta Falcons before winning the NFC championship game.

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