The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

February 3, 2013

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

(Continued)

New Orleans —

A 38-yarder by Tucker made it 34-29 with 4:19 left in regulation. Baltimore purposely gave up a safety in the closing seconds to run time off the clock, setting the final score.

Kaepernick was making only his 10th start the NFL, having taken over the job after Alex Smith got a concussion during a game. After his touchdown run, Kaepernick kissed his tattooed right biceps, his celebration move.

The first half was all about Flacco. He went 13 for 20 for 192 yards and the three scores over the opening two quarters, becoming only the sixth QB in 47 Super Bowls to throw for that many TDs by halftime.

Flacco finished 22 of 33 for 287 yards.

It's been one impressive game after another for a guy who never has commanded the widespread respect usually accorded a top player — but now will head into an offseason that could land him a $20 million-per-year contract in free agency.

To get to the Super Bowl, Flacco already led the Ravens past Denver's Peyton Manning and New England's Tom Brady for two of his league-record six career postseason road victories by a quarterback.

San Francisco turned over the ball twice in about a 5-minute span of the second quarter: Rookie running back LaMichael James fumbled — leading to a Ravens TD — and safety Ed Reed tied an NFL record with his ninth career postseason interception by picking off Kaepernick.

The Niners had never thrown an interception in their previous five Super Bowls.

There was some testiness on the field right from the get-go, and after Reed stole the ball, a group of players from both teams engaged in a scrum and penalties were called. Both coaching brothers wound up on the field, too, trying to break up the skirmish.

Instead of adding more points after Reed's pick, Baltimore eventually gave the ball back after trying a fake field goal but failing to get a first down. Didn't matter a bit. San Francisco had to punt, and Flacco hit Jones on a 56-yard TD pass with under 2 minutes left in the first half.

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