NEW ORLEANS -- The San Francisco 49ers came to life after a 33-minute delay caused by a power failure in the third quarter, and they turned the Super Bowl suspenseful after the Baltimore Ravens threatened to run away with it Sunday night.
Baltimore, whose quarterback, Joe Flacco, threw three first-half touchdown passes, led 28-23 following the third quarter, after the 49ers scored 17 consecutive points following the delay.
At one point, the Ravens' offense was off the field for 84 consecutive real-time minutes due to the halftime break, a Super Bowl record 108-yard return of the second half kickoff by the Ravens' Jacoby Jones, and the power-failure delay.
It appeared the long break turned the Baltimore offense ice cold in a Superdome that got warmer and warmer because the air conditioning was off with the power gone.
The Ravens couldn't move the ball on their first post-delay possession, then fumbled it away on their second before finally starting a promising drive near the end of the third period.
Meanwhile, San Francisco scored on three straight possessions, including the first two touchdowns allowed by the Baltimore defense in two Super Bowls.
Through three quarters, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had thrown for more yards than Flacco had, 246-215, but Kaepernick showed his inexperience on a couple of mistakes. Flacco, meanwhile, had matched Joe Montana's single postseason record of throwing 11 touchdown passes without an interception.
The Ravens led 21-6 at halftime on touchdown passes by Flacco to Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones. The Jones play was a beauty, a 56-yard play on which he caught the ball while falling backwards around the San Francisco 10-yard line, then got up and eluded a tackle attempt by cornerback Chris Culliver as he ran into the end zone.
That made it 21-3, and when a San Francisco drive late in the first half fizzled deep in Ravens territory, the 49ers had to settle for David Akers' second field goal, which made it a 21-6 game at halftime. The drive ended when, on third-and-2 from the Ravens' 9-yard line, Kaepernick couldn't find an open receiver but seemed hesitant as he began to scramble. He was stopped for no gain.
Jones' return of the second-half kickoff seemed to put Baltimore in complete control of the game at 28-6, but following the power outage, the 49ers gained some momentum.
First, they drove 80 yards in seven plays, scoring on a 31-yard pass play from Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree. Crabtree caught the ball at the 10-yard line, bounced off safety Bernard Pollard and ran into the end zone.
A Baltimore three-and-out followed the kickoff, the third-down play a blindside sack of Flacco by linebacker Ahmad Brooks, who came in untouched.
After a short punt was returned 32 yards by Ted Ginn, the 49ers covered 20 yards in two plays for their second touchdown in less than 2 1/2 minutes. Kaepernick threw 14 yards to tight end Vernon Davis, and then Frank Gore ran in on a misdirection play from the 6-yard line.
Later in the quarter, Ravens running back Ray Rice was stripped of the ball after a short completion by cornerback Tarell Brown, who also recovered, making it possible for Akers to kick a second try, 34-yard field goal. The Ravens were penalized for running into him after he missed a 39-yard attempt moments earlier.