Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) catches a 13-yard pass for a touchdown as San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) trails the
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) catches a 13-yard pass for a touchdown as San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) trails the play during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) (Charlie Riedel)

NEW ORLEANS - Super Bowl XLVII already was memorable, because of a power outage that stopped the game in the third quarter.

The San Francisco 49ers wanted it to become historic, nearly pulling off the biggest comeback from a deficit in Super Bowl history.

But in the end, the Baltimore Ravens overcame a loss of momentum caused by the 35-minute power outage and held on for a thrilling 34-31 victory at the Superdome Sunday.

"We don't make anything easy," said Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, the Super Bowl MVP.

The 49ers, who trailed 28-6 early in the third quarter, drove to the Baltimore 5-yard line in the final two minutes, only to be turned away. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw three straight incompletions with San Francisco trailing 34-29.

The fourth-down play was controversial, with Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith tightly covering Michael Crabtree. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was convinced that Smith held Crabtree, but no penalty was called. A pass-interference call would have given San Francisco a fresh first down at the 1-yard-line.

"In my opinion, that series should have continued," Harbaugh said.

On fourth down with 12 seconds left deep in its own territory, Baltimore took an intentional safety rather than risk a blocked punt to give San Francisco two points, then squibbed a free kick that ended the game.

Ten points remains the largest deficit ever overcome to win a Super Bowl.

Reacting to beating his brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, "It's very tough. It's a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. It's very painful."

As a wild-card playoff team, nothing came easily for the Ravens. They needed a 70-yard touchdown pass in the final minute of regulation to force overtime at Denver in the divisional round, then rallied to win at New England in the AFC championship game.

And then the Super Bowl became more challenging than anyone would have imagined, once they took a 22-point lead.

On the 49ers last drive, "I was sitting there thinking there's no way we can stop them here," Flacco said. "But we did, and that's what our defense is all about."

The power outage interrupted the game early in the third quarter, resulting in a 35-minute delay after the Ravens had gone ahead 28-6 on Jacoby Jones' NFL record-tying 108-yard kickoff return to begin the second half.

"Oh, my goodness we had a ton of momentum at the time," said Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta. "Then the power goes out and we're waiting for what felt like an hour. We lost a lot of momentum and, credit to them, they came storming back and played tremendous. But this team has continued to fight and never quit."

The stoppage certainly altered the complexion of the game. The 49ers responded with three touchdowns and a field goal on their next four possessions. But they could not quite catch Baltimore. The 49ers failed in a two-point conversion attempt which would have tied the game midway through the fourth quarter, and then they were denied again at the end.

Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Kaepernick was 16 of 28 for 302 yards.

The Ravens had taken a 21-6 halftime lead via Flacco's three touchdown passes - 13 yards to Anquan Boldin, 1 yard to Pitta and 56 yards to Jones. Flacco completed 13 of 20 passes for 192 yards in the first half, extending his brilliant postseason play.

Jones' touchdown came after he was wide open down the middle of the field. He caught a long pass, fell at the 6-yard line, then got up and weaved his way into the end zone.

San Francisco was able to answer only with two David Akers field goals in the first half. Each drive ended with a Paul Kruger sack of Kaepernick on third down.

You can reach Kurt Kragthorpe via e-mail at kkragthorpe@sltrib.com or via Twitter @tribkurt.