- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2003

BALTIMORE — The San Francisco 49ers weren’t the only ones knocked out by the Baltimore Ravens’ defense yesterday.

Ravens backup linebacker Ed Hartwell inadvertently sent line judge Carl Johnson to the hospital with a concussion while he helped celebrate Ray Lewis’ first regular-season interception return for a touchdown.

Lewis’ fourth interception of the season with 32 seconds left before halftime signaled the rout was on in Baltimore’s 44-6 win over the 49ers.

As Johnson lifted both arms to signal Lewis’ touchdown, Hartwell rushed into the end zone and jumped up with Lewis to celebrate. When Hartwell elevated, his shoulder pad caught Johnson under the chin and left the official sprawled on the turf at M&T; Bank Stadium. Johnson was taken off the field on a stretcher and did not return.

“I don’t even know who it was,” Hartwell said. “I saw someone laying there and asked, ‘What happened to him?’ Later on somebody said I knocked him down. I said, ‘How did I knock him down, I didn’t touch anybody?’ It’s always a risk when you’re on the field with a bunch of gladiators ramming each other.”

McAlister stops T.O.

Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister shut down 49ers star receiver Terrell Owens yesterday and seems to be making a strong case to earn his first Pro Bowl berth.

Owens, the 49ers’ go-to receiver with 61 receptions for 840 yards and six touchdowns, caught just three passes for 23 yards with a long of 9 yards. For Ravens coach Brian Billick, McAlister’s blanket coverage on the opposition’s top receivers deserves a Pro Bowl selection.

“Chris McAlister, every time you throw a challenge at him, OK, you’re not Pro Bowl until you do this, until you shut down Torry Holt, until you shut down Terrell Owens,” Billick said. “He’s stepped up to every task we’ve thrown at him and has to be considered [for the Pro Bowl] in my opinion.”

Franchise records set

Jamal Lewis was in a record-breaking mood yesterday.

The Ravens star running back established two team records in what might be considered an average performance by his standards. He finished with 78 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown.

On his first carry of the game, Lewis ran 3 yards to set the Ravens’ single-season rushing record. Two plays later, he swept 6 yards right to score his eighth touchdown of the season, breaking Priest Holmes’ club record of seven rushing touchdowns set in 1998.

Lewis broke his single-season rushing record of 1,364 yards set in his rookie season in 2000 and now has 1,442 yards on 284 carries. He is the NFL’s leading rusher.


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