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Saluting the champs

Elway, Broncos ride Davis to elusive Super Bowl win

Posted: Sun January 25, 1998 at 10:12 PM ET

Davis ran for 3 TDs and was named Super Bowl MVP   AP

SAN DIEGO (CNN/SI) -- John Elway waited 15 years for his first Super Bowl title, and on Sunday Terrell Davis made sure he got it.

Davis' third touchdown of the game with less than two minutes left gave the Broncos a 31-24 win -- their first in five Super Bowl appearances and the first for the AFC in 14 years -- over the Green Bay P ackers in Super Bowl XXXII.

Green Bay mounted a furious drive into Denver territory in the final minute, but a fourth-down pass from Packers quarterback Brett Favre fell incomplete with 28 seconds left, allowing the Bronc os to celebrate as long-awaited a Super Bowl victory as could be imagined.

"Other than my wife and my four kids, there's nothing better than this," Elway said. "I can't believe this. It's incredible."

Davis finished with 157 yards on 30 carries in an MVP effort, and while Elway passed for a season-low 123 yards, the win gave him the only thing missing in a Hall of Fame career and allowed the Broncos to shed a reputation as perennial runners-up. In f our previous attempts, the Broncos had lost four Super Bowls by an average of nearly four touchdowns.

Davis, who helped the Broncos become only the second wild card to win a Super Bowl, said the victory was all the sweeter because it took so long to bring a title to Denver -- and Elway.

"I'm numb right now -- this really hasn't hit me yet," Davis said. "I saw No. 7 [Elway] and I just congratulated him. He deserves this. I know it's been a long time coming for him."

The Broncos started the game-winning drive on the Green Bay 48, and a 15-yard facemask call on Packers linebacker Darius Holland put the Broncos in field-goal range.

Elway rolled to his left and threw a screen pass to fullback Howard Griffith, who rumbled 23 yards, aided by a monster block by receiver Ed McCaffrey, to the Green Bay 8-yard line to set up first-and-goal.

Terrell Davis ran left and dove for the end zone, but a holding call on tight end Shannon Sharpe pushed the Broncos back to the 18-yard line. Davis ran left again and gained 17 yards, steppi ng out at the 1 to set up second-and-goal with 1:47 remaining.

Davis scored his Super Bowl-record third rushing touchdown after Denver's offensive line blew open and huge hole over right guard, through which Davis sprinted untouched.

John Elway marched the Denver Broncos 92 yards and Terrell Davis scored his second touchdown to stake Denver to a 24-17 lead in the third quarter of Super Bowl XXXII on Sunday.

Davis ran the ball eight times on the 13-play drive, giving him 106 yards for the game. Elway scrambled and dove for an 8-yard gain on third-and-6 to set up first-and-goal for the Broncos.

Elway found receiver Ed McCaffrey wide open down the middle for a 36-yard gain -- Elway's first 12 passes had totaled 35 yards.

The touchdown was redemption for Davis, who fumbled on the first play of the second half, setting up Ryan Longwell's game-tying field goal as the Green Bay Packers erased a 10-point deficit i n Super Bowl XXXII.

Davis, who had missed most of the second quarter after being kicked in the head, was stripped of the ball and his fumble was recovered by Tyrone Williams. Denver safety Steve Atwater dropped an easy interception of a Brett Favre pass, allowing Longwell to kick a 27-yard field goal to tie the game at 17.

In the first half, Favre offset two costly turnovers with two touchdown passes as the Green Bay Packers trailed the Denver Broncos 17-14 at halftime of Super Bowl XXXII at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday.

Favre's turnovers -- the first by the NFC in 15 Super Bowl quarters -- resulted in 10 points as the Denver Broncos built a 17-7 lead before Favre found tight end Mark Chmura in the back of the end zone with 12 seconds left in the half for his second touchdown pass.

Green Bay's 17-play drive, which ate up 7:26 of the second quarter, ended a run of 17 unanswered points for the Broncos.

Favre completed 13 of 19 first-half passes for 127 yards -- 21 more than the Broncos totaled on offense -- while Denver quarterback John Elway threw for just 27 yards on 5-of-9 passing. Elway's 2-yard touchdown run gave the Broncos their first lead on the first play of the second quarter.

Both teams ran the ball well -- Denver's Terrell Davis rushed nine times for 64 yards before sitting out most of the second quarter after being kicked in the head. Green Bay's Dorsey Levens a nswered with 62 yards on 12 carries.

After spotting the Green Bay Packers a 7-0 lead, Denver used the running of Davis and Favre's turnovers to get the momentum back in the AFC's hands.

Jason Elam's 51-yard field goal -- the second-longest in Super Bowl history -- came after Neil Smith recovered a fumble by Favre, caused by a blindside hit from blitzing safety Steve Atwater.

Just moments earlier, Denver quarterback John Elway's 2-yard touchdown run gave the Broncos their first lead, capping an eight-play, 45-yard drive set up by an interception by Tyrone Braxton on a Favre pass that sailed over Packers receiver Robert Brooks.

Favre had marched Green Bay down the field in four minutes on an opening drive capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman, but the Broncos answered right back.

Davis rushed five times for 42 yards on Denver's first drive, including a 1-yard touchdown run to tie the game with 5:39 left in the quarter.

Elway did not complete a pass on the Broncos' first drive but scrambled 10 yards to set up a first-and-goal. Two plays later, Davis rumbled in to tie the game before his hometown crowd.

Freeman caught three passes from Favre on the opening drive for 48 yards, including a 13-yard catch on 3rd-and-9 for the game's first first down after the Broncos had held on their first two plays on defense. Freeman finished the first half with five c atches for 63 yards.

Freeman took the opening kickoff at the 5-yard line and returned it to the Green Bay 24-yard line. After no luck on two plays, Packers quarterback Brett Favre hit Freeman across the middle for a 13-yard gain on a third-and-9 for the first of five conse cutive first downs.

Green Bay won the toss and elected to receive. Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs and former quarterback Doug Williams, who led Washington to victory in the only other Super Bowl in San Diego 10 years ago, were present for the coin flip, as was legendary Grambling coach Eddie Robinson.

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