NEW ORLEANS — Baltimore was almost done in Sunday by a reign delay.
With the Ravens routing the 49ers through two-plus quarters, a 34-minute power outage cast the Superdome in dusky darkness and put Super Bowl XLVII on hold.
When the lights came back on, the 49ers came alive — but it wasn't quite enough.
The Ravens, who saw their 22-point lead dwindle to two, barely hung on and came away with a 34-31 victory, becoming the first franchise to beat the 49ers in a Super Bowl.
"It's never pretty, it's never perfect, but it is us," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh, who was coaching against younger brother Jim, said beating his brother "was the hardest thing I ever experienced."
Said John: "I told him I loved him. He told me, 'Congratulations.'"
The Ravens finally finished the job after being the NFL's only team to make the playoffs each of the last five years.
Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, and Jacoby Jones scored on a 56-yard reception and a record-tying, 108-yard kickoff return, as the Ravens hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the second time in their history.
The Ravens led 28-6 when the lights came back on, but the 49ers were energized, going on a 23-3 run capped by a touchdown on a 15-yard run by Colin Kaepernick — the longest scoring run by a quarterback in Super Bowl history — that trimmed the deficit to 31-29. Kaepernick's two-point conversion pass was incomplete.
The Ravens stemmed the bleeding in the fourth quarter, widening the edge with a field goal, and keeping the 49ers out of the end zone on their final drive. The pivotal play came on fourth-and-goal at the 5 with 1 minute, 50 seconds to play.
Kaepernick, with his team trailing by five, tried to hit Michael Crabtree in the right corner of the end zone, but the ball fell incomplete. Niners coach Jim Harbaugh complained angrily that Crabtree had been held by cornerback Jimmy Smith. Despite a lot of contact, there was no flag.
The Ravens took over on downs and eventually took a safety by having punter Sam Koch hold on to the ball as long as possible, then step out of the end zone.
Before the power problems, the Ravens were playing lights-out football. They led at halftime 21-6 and Jones scored on the opening kickoff of the second half. Anquan Boldin caught a touchdown pass on the Ravens' opening possession, his fourth of the postseason, matching his regular-season total. It was an 18-yarder floated to him over the middle as he split a pair of defenders.
Down 7-0, the 49ers drove deep into Ravens territory, but linebacker Paul Kruger sacked Kaepernick on third down and David Akers kicked a 36-yard field goal.
The Ravens would widen their lead in the second quarter with a pair of touchdowns.
Dennis Pitta caught a 1-yard touchdown pass to give the Ravens a 14-3 lead, capping a 10-play, 75-yard drive that started after a fumble by LaMichael James.
On the first play of the 49ers' next possession, Kaepernick badly overthrew his target and tossed the ball directly into the arms of Ed Reed. It was the first interception by a 49ers quarterback in Super Bowl history, and it gave the Ravens exceptional field position at the San Francisco 38. It was the ninth postseason interception of Reed's career, tying an NFL record.
After a failed fake field goal and a 49ers punt, the Ravens struck again. Jones scored a wild 56-yard touchdown.
He got behind cornerback Chris Culliver, turned around, and caught a bomb as he was falling backward at the 8. Untouched, Jones popped to his feet, spun away from a tackle, then beat Culliver again by outrunning him to the end zone.
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Author: Mama Liga News
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