UPDATE: Kearse responds to Seahawks fan who caught TD ball

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:

Loading

The play is one that Seahawks fans will still talk about with excitement when it’s replayed two decades from now.

Russell Wilson, the beloved quarterback who had thrown four interceptions was leading his team on a come-outta-nowhere drive, and hit Jermaine Kearse for a 35-yard touchdown to win the NFC Championship in overtime, sending Seattle to its second Super Bowl in two years.

Kearse launched it as his teammates mobbed him. And the ball bounced four times – into the hands of Scott Shelton.

“This is history right here,” the Monroe man said, holding the game ball with a crowd of cheering 12s outside CenturyLink Field.

Shelton told KIRO 7 he has no plans to sell the game-winning football to the highest bidder. He wants to keep it for his young son – and hopefully someday get it signed by Wilson and Kearse.

On Monday, Kearse asked for the ball back and said he'd give Shelton a game-worn jersey and a helmet signed by the team. Shelton told KIRO 7 he's not sure about giving it up -- and would like a trip to the Super Bowl.

Another 12 at the game Sunday snapped pictures of Shelton holding the ball in the air after he caught it. A mob of fans were around him, and feet away the Seahawks mobbed Kearse. He and Wilson both wept tears of joy.

"The will and the drive of these men is unbelievable," Wilson said of his teammates. "We always find a way to finish."

Seattle (14-4) trailed 19-7 with about four minutes remaining and had been ineffective on offense all game. Wilson finally put a drive together with passes to Doug Baldwin and Marshawn Lynch — initially ruled a touchdown but called back because he stepped out of bounds. Wilson finished with a 1-yard scoring run to cut the lead to 19-14 with 2:09 left.

The onside kick went high to Packers tight end Brandon Bostick, but he couldn't gather it, and Seattle's Chris Matthews recovered at the 50. The crowd, quiet since Seattle fell behind 16-0, came alive, and Lynch sped and powered his way to a 24-yard TD run. On the 2-point conversion, Wilson — about to be sacked — threw a desperate pass hauled in by Luke Willson to make it 22-19 with 1:25 remaining.

Aaron Rodgers, limping on an injured calf, calmly led the Packers (13-5) downfield to set up Mason Crosby's fifth field goal, a 48-yarder with 14 seconds to go to force overtime.

Then Wilson and Kearse struck, with Kearse — the target on all four of Wilson's interceptions — beating Tramon Williams on the winning pass.

It was the only pass Kearse caught on Sunday.

It was also Kearse who caught the winning score in last year's conference title win over San Francisco.

Shelton told KIRO 7 he has no plans to sell the game-winning football to the highest bidder. He wants to keep it for his young son – and hopefully someday get it signed by Wilson and Kearse.

For now, he – and the Seahawks – are focused on the Super Bowl two weeks from Sunday after the most improbable win in franchise history.

"You have the belief these guys have in one another,” coach Pete Carroll said, “there is nothing you can't do."

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report. Want to talk about the news of the day? Watch free streaming video on the KIRO 7 mobile app and iPad app, and join us here on Facebook.