NEW ORLEANS -- The Baltimore Ravens lead the 49ers in the Super Bowl 28-20 midway through the third quarter on the strength of three touchdown passes from Joe Flacco.
Flacco has thrown scoring passes to three different receiver -- a 13-yarder to Anquan Boldin, a 1-yarder to Dennis Pitta and a 56-yarder to Jacoby Jones.
Jones stunned the 49ers with an NFL record-tying 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half.
The 49ers first full possession after a 34-minute power outage in the Superdome culminated with a Colin Kaepernick-to-Michael Crabtree touchdown, giving the 49ers fans reason to believe that their team has a shot at an improbable comeback.
unanswered points in a 4:10 stretch to pull them within 28-23 since the power outage.
On the first scoring drive, Crabtree caught the ball in traffic, absorbed a huge hit from two defenders, stayed on his feet and ran into the end zone without further interference. The 31-yard touchdown cut the Ravens lead to 28-13.
Kaepernick got the drive jump-started with runs of 5 and 15 yards to the 49ers 40-yard line.
He kept it alive with a 9-yard completion to wide receiver Randy Moss on a third-and-8 play. That marked Moss' first reception of the game and got the 49ers into Ravens territory.
Then, running back Frank Gore scored a touchdown from 6 yards out two plays after the 49ers took possession at the Ravens 20-yard line.
Suddenly, the 49ers are within striking distance of the Baltimore Ravens, trailing 28-20.
Kaepernick got the 49ers to the Ravens 6 on a 14-yard pass to tight end Vernon Davis. Gore finished the drive with a run around the right side.
Tight end Delanie Walker made the run possible with a punishing block on the right side of the line.
David Akers converted his third straight field-goal attempt late in the third quarter to cut the Ravens lead to 28-23.
Akers' first attempt, from 39 yards, sailed wide left. However, the Ravens got called for running into the kicker. That gave Akers a second chance, this time from 34 yards.
Kaepernick's third-down pass for wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. at the goal line was just off the mark, as cornerback Cary Williams got a hand on the ball and knocked it away.
The 49ers trailed 28-6 one play into the third quarter. Jones fielded Akers' second half kickoff near the back line of the end zone and never hesitated in bringing it out. He sprinted into the pack and emerged out the back side with no one there to impede his path to the end zone.
Jones just catapulted himself into the early conversation as to who is going to be the Super Bowl MVP, he or Flacco.
Jones' touchdown, a few seconds after Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones sacked Kaepernick, most of the lights went out in the Superdome.
There was no scoreboard, play clock or anything else working except for some ceiling lights.
It took 34 minutes before all of the lights were back on and play was restored at the Superdome.
The NFL released a statement at the end of the third quarter, "Stadium authorities are investigating the cause of the power outage. We will have more information as it becomes available."
When power was restored and the 49ers facing third-and-13 from their own 40, Kaepernick could manage only a 7-yard completion to Walker, forcing an Andy Lee punt.
On the next possession, Flacco hit Torrey Smith for a 15-yard gain on first down and then went three-and-out with the 49ers taking over on the 20-yard.
The 28 points scored by the first play of the second half marked the most points ever given up by the 49ers in six Super Bowls. Previously, San Diego's 26 points in a 49-26 loss to the 49ers in 1995 were the most allowed by San Francisco.
Akers has two field goals to account for all of the 49ers scoring. His second field goal was a 27-yarder with three seconds left in the half.
The 49ers seemed poised to do even better than a field goal after three straight completed passes by Kaepernick, along with a Ravens 15-yard penalty, helped the 49ers reach the Ravens 17-yard line.
Davis got the 49ers to the Ravens 9 with an 8-yard reception on first down, but Gore and Kaepernick got stuffed for no gain on the next two plays and compelled coach Jim Harbaugh to settle for a field goal.
Jones, a backup wide receiver, got behind the 49ers defense and turned a blown coverage into a 56-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-10 play to make it 21-3 with 1:45 left in the first half.
Jones streaked past cornerback Chris Culliver and waited for Flacco's long pass to come down. Culliver then ran past Jones and free safety Dashon Goldson whiffed on an open-field tackle at the 49ers 5, as Jones weaved his way into the end zone.
That just might be the play that breaks the 49ers. They were in position to force the Ravens to punt and score before the half to make it a close game.
Instead, Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell remained aggressive and went for the knockout blow.
Flacco is 13 of 20 for 192 yards and three touchdowns against a 49ers defense that looks overmatched.
The 49ers snuffed out a Baltimore Ravens drive by tackling rookie kicker Justin Tucker a yard shy of the first-down marker on a fake field-goal attempt.
Tucker took a direct snap, rolled left and appeared headed for a first down before he got drilled at the 49ers 6-yard line.
However, the Ravens are showing that they can move the ball with relative ease on the ground and through the air as they methodically are wearing down the 49ers defense in the Super Bowl.
After Pitta's touchdown, the Ravens got right back in business, with a chance to put the 49ers in a huge hole, as a result of free safety Ed Reed intercepting Kaepernick on the first play following the Ravens second touchdown of the game. It was the first interception thrown by a 49ers quarterback in six Super Bowl appearances for San Francisco.
Kaepernick's pass for wide receiver Randy Moss sailed well long of the mark, with Reed in position to make the easy play.
Trailing 7-3, the 49ers were threatening when rookie running back LaMichael James fumbled at the Baltimore 24.
Kaepernick completed back-to-back passes to Davis for 40 yards to get the 49ers to the Ravens 40. Back-to-back runs by James and Frank Gore netted 8 yards each. Then came the James fumble on a play in which he was attempting to fight for additional yardage.
The Ravens drew first blood with Flacco's 13-yard pass to Boldin. The drive was kept alive by a 49ers offsides penalty on third-and-9 from the 49ers 18-yard line. On the next play, Flacco delivered a strike to Boldin, who got behind two 49ers defenders in the middle of the end zone.
Fellow wideout Torrey Smith keyed the drive with a 20-yard reception to the 49ers 19 on the third play of the drive.
The 49ers answered the Baltimore touchdown drive with a score of their own, a 36-yard field goal by Akers, to cut the lead to 7-3.
The 12-play, 62-yard drive kicked into high gear on the second play, with Kaepernick hitting Crabtree across the middle.
Crabtree snared the high pass and turned a short gain into a 19-yarder. The 49ers cobbled together three more first downs on a drive that reached the Ravens 8-yard line.
However, Gore got stuffed for no gain on first down and a pass for Moss near the goal line hit off Moss' hands and fell incomplete.
Baltimore won the pregame coin-toss and elected to take the ball at the start of the second half.
The 49ers opening drive started bad, and it got worse, with punter Andy Lee summoned after three plays failed to net a first down.
Kaepernick's pass on the first offensive play went for 20 yards to Davis. However, an illegal formation penalty on Davis negated the play and put the 49ers in an early hole and encouraged the Ravens fans to crank up the noise.
Two Gore runs sandwiched around an incomplete pass netted only 3 yards. The Ravens took possession at their own 49-yard line and marched in for a 7-0 lead.