The Browns punched the AFC North’s biggest bully in the mouth.
The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens are wobbling.
Jason Campbell threw three touchdown passes — two to Davone Bess — and the Browns ended an 11-game losing streak against Baltimore, beating the Ravens 24-18 on Sunday.
Campbell’s 3-yard pass to Bess on fourth down with three minutes left helped the Browns (4-5) seal their first win over Baltimore since 2007. A week ago, Bess dropped a pass in a similar situation in the closing minutes of a loss at Kansas City.
The Ravens (3-5) lost their third straight and didn’t win in the week following a bye for the first time in six tries under coach John Harbaugh.
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco had a pair of TD passes to rookie Marlon Brown, but the Super Bowl MVP couldn’t rally the Ravens, who made too many mistakes and are in danger of missing the playoffs.
Making his second straight start after Brandon Weeden was benched, Campbell completed 23 of 35 passes for 262 yards. The nine-year veteran was at his best in the closing minutes, when the Browns ran 6:30 off the clock to finish off the Ravens, who have lost four of five.
Campbell, who briefly left the game in the first half with a rib injury, evaded pressure before making his big completion to Bess and later alertly flipped the ball to running back Chris Ogbonnaya to set up Billy Cundiff’s 22-yard field goal with 14 seconds left to put the Browns ahead by six.
The Ravens had one last chance, but running back Ray Rice was tackled near midfield as the Browns beat Baltimore for the first time since Flacco and Harbaugh arrived.
Browns wide receiver Greg Little had seven catches for 122 yards.
Flacco finished 24 of 41 for 250 yards, but Baltimore’s offense sputtered most of the game against Cleveland’s vastly improved defense.
Down 21-10 and running out of time, Flacco connected with Brown for a 7-yard TD with 12:09 left and then hit him again for the 2-point conversion to cut Cleveland’s lead to three. Tandon Doss, who earlier fumbled away a punt, set up the score with a 36-yard return that sparked the Ravens.
But it was the Browns who made the big plays in the closing minutes, none more important than Bess’ grab as coach Rob Chudzinski went for it on fourth down with 3:12 left.
The Browns capitalized on a muffed punt by Doss to open a 21-10 lead in the third as Campbell threw a 4-yard TD pass to Gary Barnidge with 5:11 left. Baltimore’s defense, missing Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, was uncharacteristically confused during the sequence as the Ravens were penalized for having 12 men on the field and Barnidge was able to slip away from the line uncovered.
After looking dysfunctional for most of the first half, the Ravens came alive in the final minute and pulled to 14-10 on Flacco’s 19-yard TD pass to Brown, an undrafted free agent, with nine seconds left.
The Browns punched the AFC North’s biggest bully in the mouth.
Class AA first round filled with highs, lows for locals
It was a day full of highs and lows for the 11 local Class AA wrestlers on the opening day of the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships in Hershey.
For some, it was business as usual, and for others, the atmosphere of a crowded Giant Center proved to be a little much. By the time the preliminary and Round 1 consolation rounds were finished, eight wrestlers are still alive, with state wrestling experience proving to be invaluable Thursday morning.
Lee, Wheeling stay in hunt for Class AAA state title
A win is a win, and when it comes to the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships, as long as your score reads higher in the end, it really doesn’t matter how you get there.
During the preliminary round of the tournament Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey, the six local qualifiers certainly had mixed results, but in the end, two wrestlers are still in the championship bracket, exactly where they want to be.
Cards look to slow down Vincentian
“The best way to sum it up is,” said Cochranton head coach Scott McCurdy, “it’s like they’re down five and there are 30 seconds to go. Only, they play like that for the entire 32 minutes.”
McCurdy is talking about the Vincentian Academy boys basketball team, which employs a style that’s ... well ... calling it up-tempo just doesn’t seem to suffice.
Lancers get tough draw in opener
One may think that by winning a District 10 title and getting paired up with the seventh seed out of District 7 for the first round of the state playoffs, that said champion would have a pretty choice matchup.
Yet, that’s not how things shook out for the General McLane girls basketball team. The D-10 champion Lady Lancers drew a challenging foe in Neshannock.
’Dogs rout Bison to reach title game
Having defeated Fort LeBoeuf by a grand total of 24-0 in their previous three meetings, the tension wasn’t exactly palpable for the Meadville Bulldogs hockey team as it squared off with the Bison in a Lakeshore Hockey League semfinal game on Thursday night at Erie Insurance Arena.
Calvary wins opener
The Calvary Baptist girls basketball team won its opening game of the National Christian School Athletic Association Tournament on Thursday at Family First Sports Park.
Gators win lacrosse home opener
Allegheny moved to 3-0-0 on the year with its 20-8 win over Washington & Jefferson on Thursday in women’s lacrosse action at Frank B. Fuhrer Field.
5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters
It's March, which means the NCAA Tournament is just around the corner. But before March Madness takes hold, the conference tournaments, which get under way this week, often provide their own share of exciting finishes. Here are five memorable buzzer beaters from conference tournament play.
CLASS AA WRESTLING: Local grapplers set sights on state gold
Of the 11 local Class AA wrestlers embarking on wrestling glory at the PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships, six are making return trips to Hershey, while five grapplers will the view the big stage for the very first time.
CLASS AAA WRESTLING: Lee, McLane duo seek redemption in Hershey
Matching the number from a year ago, the General McLane wrestling team is sending five wrestlers to Hershey for the PIAA Class AAA Individual Wrestling Championships that begin today at 4 p.m. at the Giant Center.
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