By: Malaika Bobino
New Orleans, LA – It came down to the brilliance of John Harbaugh in the end. A once in a lifetime call secured the victory for one, as two brothers battled to the end during a spectacular game. Calling a safety to run the clock down to four seconds and cut the San Francisco Forty-Niners chances of getting the ball back was the ending to a phenomenal year.
“You know what the turning point of the game was” John Harbaugh asked the media. “It was the final play.”
The Baltimore Ravens proved why they are the best team in the NFL. After defeating the 49ers 34-31, the Ravens are the Super Bowl Champions. It wasn’t an easy task, especially after the lights went out early in the third quarter. It was a one-sided game throughout the first half. Joe Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP threw for three touchdowns to Anquan Bouldin, Dennis Pita and Jacoby Jones taking a quick 21-6 lead before halftime.
The next play proved Baltimore had no intentions of slowing down. On the opening kickoff, Jones rushed 108 yards on the kickoff return for the touchdown. That was the longest kickoff return in the NFL history. Immediately after that play the lights went out. A power outage lasting almost 35 minutes left many squandering for answers during the delay. The players stayed on the field stretching and warming up.
“As far as the power going out, that didn’t change anything for us,” said Vernon Davis.
Once play resumed a different Ravens teams showed up and that was a blessing in disguise for San Francisco who desperately needed to get back into this game. Once the lights were restored, the 49ers scored two back-to-back touchdowns cutting their lead to 8 points. A comeback is nothing new to this team, the second half is always their time to shine. Colin Kaepernick followed both Michael Crabtree and Franks Gore’s touchdown with one of his own.
He dashed for a 15-yard touchdown and made it a 31-29 game. That is the most yards a quarterback has rushed in a Super Bowl. Baltimore’s offense attempts to move the ball failed giving the ball back to San Francisco with 4:19 remaining in the game. But something you don’t seen often happened in the final minutes of the game. Kaepernick struggled and threw three incomplete passes to Crabtree.
“On that last drive when we got the ball back, we had time to go down and score a touchdown, we thought it was our game,” Colin said. “I didn’t (do enough), we lost. So obviously it wasn’t enough.”
With only 1:46 remaining in the game, the Ravens provided a safety, punter Sam Koch ran out of bounds to leave only four seconds on the clock. Baltimore punted the ball and began to celebrate as they watched the time expire. San Francisco was left in shock wondering “what if” things had gone differently.
“To be honest,” said Flacco. “I’m thinking those guys are probably going to put the ball in the end zone and we’re going to have to go down and kick a field goal to win or tie it. That’s what I was getting my mindset ready to do.”
The turnovers and penalties piled up for the 49ers early as they unraveled in the first half. LaMichael James fumbled, Kaepernick threw a interception and the 49ers lost for the first time in a Super Bowl. The Ravens defense shut down San Francisco’s offense who had to solely depend on David Akers. His back-to-back field goals were the only points on the board in the first half.
“I thought we battled right to the brink of winning,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “It was a heck of a game.”