Frank Gore stars as 49ers down Falcons, clinch Super Bowl berth
Atlanta, GA, United States (4E Sports) – Frank Gore ran for two touchdowns in the second half as the San Francisco 49ers erased a 10-point halftime deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons, 28-24, in the NFC Championship Game and book a spot in the Super Bowl Sunday at Georgia Dome.
Gore tallied 90 yards on 21 carries and fellow rusher LaMichael James added 34 yards on five carries and a touchdown to lift the 49ers to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995.
The 49ers (13-4-1) will face the winner of the AFC title showdown between the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 16 of 21 passes for 223 yards and hit tight end Vernon Davis with a touchdown pass.
Davis finished with 106 yards on five catches while Michael Crabtree added 57 yards on six receptions.
It was a disappointing loss for the Falcons, who grabbed a 17-point lead in the second period after Matt Ryan’s second touchdown pass to wide receiver Julio Jones from 46 and 20 yards.
Ryan hit 30 of 42 passes for 396 yards and finished the game with three touchdown heaves while Jones had 182 yards on 11 catches. Tight end Tony Gonzalez caught Ryan’s third touchdown pass and finished with 78 yards on eight catches.
Ryan opened the game with a 46-yard touchdown pass to Jones and Matt Bryant added a 35-yard field goal to give the Falcons a 10-0 lead after the first period.
In the second, Ryan found Jones for a 20-yard scoring strike for a 17-0 lead. The 49ers responded with a 15-yard touchdown run from James and a four-yard scoring pass by Kaepernick to Davis to cut the deficit to three.
However, Ryan delivered a 10-yard touchdown pass to Gonzalez to put the Falcons ahead by 24-14 at the break.
In the third, Gore ran for a five-yard touchdown to bring the 49ers within 24-21 and added a game-winning nine-yard run in the fourth.
Ryan tried to lead the Falcons’ game-winning drive but his pass to Roddy White was knocked down by San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman, with 1:13 left.