SEATTLE -- Richard Sherman did a CenturyLink Leap. Golden Tate grabbed a 12th Man flag and circled the field with it. Even team owner Paul Allen made an appearance and gave a victory speech. The Seattle Seahawks are headed to the Big Apple for the Super Bowl. "To see all our work that we put in -- the mornings, the nights, the weights, all your life, as a young player and in the NFL," Malcolm Smith said after his end zone interception with 22 seconds remaining clinched the 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. "Its amazing." Seattles top-ranked defence forced three fourth-quarter turnovers, and Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass on fourth down for the winning points. Seattle will meet Denver (15-3) for the NFL title in two weeks in the New Jersey Meadowlands. Its the first trip to the big game for the Seahawks (15-3) since they lost to Pittsburgh after the 2005 season. The conference champs had the best records in the league this year, the second time the top seeds have gotten to the Super Bowl in 20 seasons. It also is a classic confrontation of Denvers record-setting offence led by Peyton Manning against the NFLs stingiest defence. Denver opened as a 1-point favourite over Seattle on the Glantz-Culver Line. "It will be a great matchup," coach Pete Carroll said. "I think its an extraordinary opportunity to go against a guy that set all the records in the history of the game." Moments after Sherman tipped Colin Kaepernicks pass to Smith for the interception, the All-Pro cornerback jumped into the stands behind the end zone, saluting the Seahawks raucous fans. With 12th Man flags waving everywhere, and "New York, New York" blaring over the loudspeakers, CenturyLink Field rocked like never before. "Thats as sweet as it gets," said Sherman, who also went into several rants about 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree, whom he called a "sorry receiver." "This is really special," added Carroll, who has turned around the Seahawks in four seasons in charge. "It would really be a mistake to not remember the connection and the relationship between this football team and the 12th Man and these fans. Its unbelievable." San Francisco (14-5) led 17-13 when Wilson, given a free play as Aldon Smith jumped offside, hurled the ball to Jermaine Kearse, who made a leaping catch in the end zone. Steven Hauschka then kicked his third field goal following Kam Chancellors pick, and Smith intercepted in the end zone on the 49ers final possession. "This feels even sweeter, with the amazing support we have had from the 12th Man," Allen said, comparing this Super Bowl trip to the previous one. Until Seattles top-ranked defence forced a fumble and had two interceptions in the final period, the game was marked by big offensive plays in the second half. That was somewhat shocking considering the strength of both teams defences. And those plays came rapidly. Marshawn Lynch, in full "Beast Mode," ran over a teammate and then outsped the 49ers to the corner of the end zone for a 40-yard TD, making it 10-10. Kaepernick then was responsible for consecutive 22-yard gains, hitting Crabtree, then rushing to the Seattle 28. His fumble on the next play was recovered by centre Jonathan Goodwin, who even lumbered for 2 yards. Anquan Boldin outleapt All-Pro safety Earl Thomas on the next play for a 26-yard touchdown. Then, Doug Baldwin, who played for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, stepped up -- and through San Franciscos coverage -- on a scintillating 69-yard kickoff return that made the stadium shake for the first time all day. That set up Hauschkas 40-yard field goal. And a frantic finish. Seattle took its first lead on Wilsons throw to Kearse with 13:44 left, and CenturyLink rocked again. The place went silent soon after when Niners All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman sustained an ugly left knee injury midway and was carted off. Bowman, who was having a huge game, had forced a fumble at the San Francisco 1, but Lynch recovered. "I never heard him yell like that, or even stay down for a moment," teammate Patrick Willis said of Bowman. The Seahawks had gotten their first turnover moments earlier when Cliff Avril stripped Kaepernick and Michael Bennett recovered. But Lynch and Wilson botched a handoff on fourth down on the play after Bowmans injury. It took only two plays for Chancellor to haul in Kaepernicks underthrow to Boldin, and Hauschkas 47-yarder ended the scoring. But not the excitement. Kaepernick, who rushed for 130 yards, got San Francisco to the Seattle 18 with his arm. But his pass for Crabtree was brilliantly tipped by Sherman to Smith. "We knew it would come down to us in the back end to win this thing," Sherman said. The final play was similar to last years Super Bowl ending, when Kaepernick missed Crabtree in the end zone from the 5 and Baltimore survived. "Its tough. Any time you get this close to the Super Bowl and lose, its pretty upsetting," tight end Vernon Davis said. "We just didnt get it. Weve been down this road before in the same kind of situation. Its hard." Whether it was nerves or just a great play by Aldon Smith, Wilson fumbled on Seattles first snap. Smith got credit for a sack and a recovery, too -- a defenders dream -- at the Seahawks 15. More staunch defence followed, this time by Seattle, which held and only gave up Phil Dawsons 25-yard field goal. Seattle simply had no answers for Kaepernicks runs, looking either flat-footed or plain-out lost when he took off. He gained 98 yards on the ground in the first half, including a 58-yard second-quarter run, the longest of his three-year career and the longest Seattles defence allowed all season. But he was less effective in the second half and was plagued by turnovers. Wilson came up with a huge improvisation of his own moments after Kaepernicks long jaunt. Wilson avoided the rush with some nifty scrambling before spotting Baldwin behind the defence for a 51-yard pickup. All it resulted in was Hauschkas 32-yard field goal, making it 10-3. Baldwin finished with six receptions for 106 yards. And now its on to New Jersey, where Carroll once coached the Jets for a season. That didnt end well -- he was fired so the team could hire Rich Kotite. He heads back with a chance to add a Super Bowl crown to two national titles as coach at Southern California. "Its quite a magical moment," Carroll said. "You cant really grasp the moment. Did we really do this?" Yep -- the Seahawks and their 12th Man. Tierna Davidson USA Jersey . -- Valentin Zykov scored in overtime as the Baie-Comeau Drakkar rallied to a 3-2 victory over the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada on Sunday in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoff action. Lynn Williams USA Jersey . PETERSBURG, Fla. http://www.officialsocceruswntshop.com/m...usa-jersey/.com) - Tony Parker scored 17 points to lead the San Antonio Spurs to a comfortable 99-85 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. Ashlyn Harris USA Jersey .Pete Morelli said the back judge threw a flag on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens on a pass to Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew in Dallas 24-20 wild-card win Sunday. But the head linesman said there wasnt enough contact and that Hitchens was face-guarding, which isnt a penalty in the NFL. Rose Lavelle USA Jersey . Chris Heisey connected for his first grand slam and Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in a career high-tying four runs as Cincinnati took advantage of Tampa Bays depleted pitching staff for a 12-4 victory on Sunday.Modena, Italy (SportsNetwork.com) - Sassuolo trailed at halftime but stormed back to collect a 3-1 victory over Empoli at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore on Tuesday. The visitors were in front after only 18 minutes thanks to Daniele Croces strike, and they managed to maintain the lead through the intermission. But the hosts got back on level terms in the 56th minute through Simone Missirolis first goal of the campaign. Things looked grim for Sassuolo afteer Domenico Berardi failed to convert a 59th-minute penalty, but Sergio Floccari provided the go-ahead goal just two minutes later to rescue the home side.dddddddddddd Berardi made amends for his penalty miss in the 73rd minute by notching an insurance goal, clinching Sassuolos second league win of the season to put the club on 10 points through nine games. Empoli remains on seven points, slipping to 15th place in the Italian top flight. ' ' '