After dust clears, Ravens in control

Third Quarter

Super Bowl Xxxv

Ravens 34, Giants 7

January 29, 2001|By Jamison Hensley

Super Bowl XXXV found its place in history in the third quarter.

Despite minimal production from the offenses, the quarter featured 21 points in a span of 36 seconds this quarter.

The touchdowns were scored on an interception return by Ravens cornerback Duane Starks, then on consecutive kickoffs by the Giants and Ravens. It was the first time that a Super Bowl had back-to-back kickoffs returned for touchdowns.

The main storyline continued to be the Ravens' defense, which surrendered only 14 yards this quarter and started the scoring barrage.

Reading a short drop by Giants quarterback Kerry Collins, Starks gambled by biting on a slant route for the interception. He returned his third interception of the playoffs 49 yards to raise the Ravens' lead to 17-0.

The ensuing kickoff was taken back 97 yards by the Giants' Ron Dixon to end the shutout with 3:31 left in the quarter. But the Ravens responded immediately when Jermaine Lewis returned a short kickoff 84 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown.

Before that scoring flurry, the Ravens watched quarterback Trent Dilfer head into the locker room for X-rays.

Dilfer left after the fifth play of the half, when he injured his left hand on a sack by Cornelius Griffin and Michael Strahan. Tony Banks entered the game, but Dilfer returned after missing one series.

The Ravens' defense restored order after the flurry of touchdowns, holding the Giants to three-plays-and-out on New York's final series of the quarter. The quarter was a microcosm of the Ravens' playoffs, with the defense and special teams leading the way.

Key Play

Score: Ravens, 17-7

Situation: Giants kicking off

Play: Kickoff return to the right

Result: Jermaine Lewis (84) fielded Brad Daluiso's kick at the 16. He started to cut across the field at the 25. He juked once to the inside at the 38, then cut to the outside behind Keith Washington's block on Reggie Stephens. He reached the sideline and was sprung free on blocks by Corey Harris (45) on Emmanuel McDaniel at the 50, and then Harris on Dave Thomas and Sam Gash on Omar Stoutmire at the Giants' 45.

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