The San Francisco 49ers ultimately lost Super Bowl XLVII to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31, in a nail-biting, thrilling to the end match-up.
But most Turlockers only had good things to say about the performance of quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a Pitman High School graduate who nearly led the 49ers to the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.
“Wonderful, stupendous, superb,” Grizzly Rock owner Frank Saunders said when asked to describe Kap's performance. “He did well under pressure.”
Kaepernick had one slight miscue in the second quarter, when a pass intended for wide receiver Randy Moss sailed high and into the waiting arms of Baltimore safety Ed Reed. That interception ultimately resulted in no points for the Ravens, after a Baltimore fake field goal attempt failed to pick up a first down.
Though Baltimore did not score on that turnover the Ravens led 21-6 at the half thanks to an outstanding performance by quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, who tossed three touchdowns in the frame. Just seconds into the third quarter the Ravens extended their lead to 22, when Baltimore wide receiver Jacoby Jones ran back the opening kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown.
Kap ended the game with 302 yards on 16 of 28 passing, with one interception and one touchdown – a 31-yard beauty to Michael Crabtree in the third quarter, which kicked off a 17-0 San Francisco run in 4:10 that brought the game back within reach. Kaepernick also had 62 yards rushing with one touchdown, a 15-yard scamper down the left sideline that set an all-time record for longest TD run by a quarterback in a Super Bowl.
Kap's rushing touchdown brought the 49ers within two, 29-31, but an attempted two-point conversion to tie the game failed when pressure forced Kaepernick to overthrow Moss. The Ravens notched a 38-yard field goal on their next drive, giving the 49ers one last chance to win the game with 4:19 remaining.
The 49ers would march 75 yards downfield in less than two minutes, but their drive stalled out at the Baltimore 5 yard line. Kaepernick attempted back-to-back passes to receiver Micheal Crabtree on third and fourth downs, but both sailed wide.
Crabtree appeared to be interfered with by Ravens defenders on both plays, but no flags were thrown – despite 49ers quarterback Jim Harbaugh's impassioned pleas.
The Ravens committed an intentional safety to milk off extra seconds as the clock wound down, giving the 49ers one chance to reach the endzone on the ensuing free kick. Returner Ted Ginn Jr. was stopped at the 50, ending the contest.
Had the 49ers been able to come back from the 22 point third quarter deficit, it would have marked a Super Bowl record; the current record is 10 points.
Though Turlockers voiced their support for Kap following the loss and the near-miraculous comeback, the defeat was still hard to take for local fans.
“I'm sad my boy (Kaepernick) didn't perform like he did in the NFC (Championship Game),” said Grizzly Rock patron Evan Barrett. “He didn't have the running game he did two weeks ago, and some of the plays didn't go our way.”