Ravens hold Ben­gals de­fend­ers; sur­ren­der safety in­ten­tion­ally on fi­nal play

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— The Baltimore Ravens have com­mit­ted far too many penal­ties this sea­son, so it’s a bit ironic that they clinched Sun­day’s win over the Cincin­nati Ben­gals with a play in which they were flagged for sev­eral hold­ing calls – in­ten­tion­ally.

The Ravens suc­cess­fully ran the fi­nal 11 sec­onds off of the game clock be­fore punter Sam Koch stepped out of the back of the end zone for an in­ten­tional safety. Ev­ery­body but Koch grabbed onto a Ben­gals de­fender and held on for dear life. Four flags lit­tered the field, but even more could have been thrown.

“It’s pretty much a play that ev­ery special teams coach has in his play­book, so I don’t think it’s any­thing rev­o­lu­tion­ary by any stretch,” head coach John Harbaugh said Mon­day. “I was re­ally happy with the way the guys ex­e­cuted it, re­ally proud of that. I thought they did a great job of fin­ish­ing the game.”

A de­fen­sive penalty on the fi­nal play of a half re­sults in an un­timed down. An of­fen­sive penalty does not. The Ben­gals were awarded two

OWINGS MILLS

points, but the game ended. Baltimore won 19-14.

Harbaugh and the Ravens have ex­ploited the loop­hole be­fore – to help se­cure a vic­tory in Su­per Bow XLVII. He said the one on Sun­day was the best-ex­e­cuted safety ever. The Ravens prac­ticed the play dur­ing train­ing camp.

Baltimore ran the play with 12 sec­onds left in the Su­per Bowl, but Koch only ran eight sec­onds off the clock and the Ravens were forced to punt to the San Fran­cisco 49ers. He made sure to leave no time on the clock and was cred­ited with -23 yards rush­ing.

“That’s a big play, you don’t want to have to punt be­cause they’re rush­ing you and they can block it; and you don’t re­ally want to put it back there in Pacman Jones’ hands in that sit­u­a­tion ei­ther if you don’t have to be­cause he could take it back,” Harbaugh said. “So it’s bet­ter to take the safety if you think you can run all the time off the clock. But 11 sec­onds is a long time to run off the clock, so our guys did a good job of get­ting all the time off the clock.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

(MARK CORNELISON/LEX­ING­TON HERALD-LEADER/MCT)

Punter Sam Koch (4) of the Baltimore Ravens scam­pers around in the end zone to eat up time on the clock near the end of the game against the San Fran­cisco 49ers in Su­per Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Su­per­dome in New Or­leans on Feb. 3, 2013. The Ravens used a sim­i­lar play at the end of Sun­day's game vs. the Cincin­nati Ben­gals.

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