Steelers win!

DETROIT – In a Super Bowl game that was promoted for having two outstanding young quarterbacks, a former college quarterback-turned-receiver threw the game's prettiest pass.

Antwaan Randle El's 43-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward, off a reverse, provided the Steelers with their final points in a 21-10 win over the Seahawks.

"We knew it was going to go for a touchdown," said Ward. "It was a great call by (Ken) Whisenhunt and a great throw by Antwaan. We did what we had to do to win this Super Bowl. It's a great feeling right now."

The play was the exact play the Steelers used against the Cleveland Browns earlier in the season. Randle El threw that pass 51 yards to Ward for a touchdown.

In the fourth quarter of last night's Super Bowl, Randle El threw his touchdown pass off a reverse from running back Willie Parker. Randle El threw off his wrong foot, but the pass hit Ward down the field in stride for the touchdown with 8:56 remaining in the game.

It was the first touchdown pass thrown by a wide receiver in Super Bowl history.

"I have nothing to say but glory be to God," said Randle El. "We thought we had an opportunity to come out and win the game. I was hoping (the coaches) would call the play, and they called it. It's been wonderful. It's been a great day, a great game and a great finish. This whole season nobody thought we could, but we did it and here we are."

Randle El was a record-setting quarterback at Indiana University, but the 5-foot-10 option quarterback was moved to wide receiver as soon as he was drafted in the second round of the 2002 draft by the Steelers.

Previous to last night's pass, Randle El had thrown four passes this season (counting the postseason) and completed three for 219 yards. He's now completed four passes this season for 262 yards and two touchdowns.

"It was huge," said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. "It was the perfect call at the perfect time."

Roethlisberger had the worst statistical game of his pro career. He completed nine of 21 passes for 123 yards and two interceptions for a passer rating of 22.6.

"We got the win and that's all that matters," Roethlisberger said. "Boy, it feels so good."

Randle El's pass bailed out what was perhaps Roethlisberger's worst pass of his worst game. In the third quarter, with the Steelers ahead by 14-3, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to the Seattle 7. But on third-and-six, instead of putting the game away, Roethlisberger let the Seahawks back in when he underthrew Cedrick Wilson near the right pylon. The pass was intercepted by Kelly Herndon and returned a Super Bowl-record 75 yards to the Pittsburgh 20.

"That was one where my mind was telling me to throw it over the top and my arm didn't throw it over the top," Roethlisberger said. "I read it right; I just didn't throw it good."

The Seahawks scored three plays later to cut the lead to 14-10, but couldn't come all the way back, thanks in part to the lackluster play of its own quarterback.

Matt Hasselbeck threw a critical fourth-quarter interception to Ike Taylor that set up the Steelers' insurance touchdown. Hasselbeck finished the game with 26 completions in 49 attempts for 273 yards. He threw a touchdown pass, was intercepted once and sacked three times. His passer rating was 67.8.

Randle El's passer rating of 158.3 was far better than Roethlisberger's and Hasselbeck's combined (90.4).

"It's satisfying, especially the way it happened," said Randle El. "It was right over his shoulder and the defender tried to reach and he couldn't get there and it gave us six."

And the championship.


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