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Jacoby Jones sparks Ravens twice

Ravens returner Jacoby Jones leaves the 49ers trailing as he completes a 108-yard kick return for a touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history and his second score of the game.

Associated Press

Ravens returner Jacoby Jones leaves the 49ers trailing as he completes a 108-yard kick return for a touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history and his second score of the game.

NEW ORLEANS — Jacoby Jones is not the most notable native Louisianian on the Baltimore Ravens; that's safety Ed Reed. He is not the Raven with an identifiable dance; that's retiring linebacker Ray Lewis.

On Sunday, though, as Baltimore beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl, Jones starred in his home city and shimmied with rhythm that surely made Lewis proud.

Jones caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 108 yards for another, setting an NFL postseason record, the most explosive moments of the Ravens' 34-31 victory.

In a prescient moment, Jones warned the 49ers early last week.

"If I were them, I wouldn't kick it to me, not at all," he told the media.

But 49ers kicker David Akers apparently did not get the news.

To start the second half, Akers blasted the ball deep into the Ravens' end zone. Jones, 28, brought the ball out and essentially went right up the middle, sprinkling in a few sidesteps.

Once he got past Akers, there was little hope for the 49ers to stop him from the longest play in Super Bowl history. He swayed in the end zone, doing a version of Lewis' dance, the Squirrel.

Jones said: "On returns that go for a touchdown, they happen when you least expect it. In games like this, we just want to work for good drive starts and field position. So if one pops open, that's a blessing."

He also took advantage of an opening in the 49ers' secondary in the second quarter, slipping behind cornerback Chris Culliver — the player who apologized for his comments concerning homosexuals days earlier — and pulling in a pass that quarterback Joe Flacco heaved some 50 yards in the air.

Jones tumbled — then realized Culliver had not touched him. Jones jumped to his feet and dashed into the end zone for a 56-yard score. His other touchdown catch in the playoffs was critical — the 70-yard late-game play that forced overtime against Denver in the division round.

Sunday's performance was an upbeat conclusion to a week of reunions for Jones, who grew up in New Orleans East and attended Abramson High.

His childhood home and his high school were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, but Jones' mother still lives in New Orleans, and he took several of his teammates to his house early in the week for a home-cooked meal.

Gumbo, jambalaya, macaroni and potato salad were among the items on the menu.

Sunday was dessert.

"New Orleans is still my home," Jones said. "Playing in the Super Bowl here? That's just the icing on the cake."

.FAST FACTS

Long way home

Jacoby Jones broke the Super Bowl record for longest kickoff return touchdown by nearly 10 yards:

Player, team Year Opponent Yards

Jacoby Jones, Ravens 2013 49ers 109

Desmond Howard, Packers 1997 Patriots 99

Fulton Walker, Dolphins 1983 Redskins 98

Andre Coleman, Chargers 1995 49ers 98

Ron Dixon, Giants 2001 Ravens 97

Jacoby Jones sparks Ravens twice 02/03/13 [Last modified: Monday, February 4, 2013 12:45am]

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