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  • Even loss to Cowboys didn't ruin Broncos initial trip to Super Bowl

The score of the game wasn't the only thing defensive stalwart Karl Mecklenburg didn't like about Super Bowl XXIV, a 55-10 rout by San Francisco, the fourth loss in four tries for Denver in football's biggest show.

San Francisco quarterback Joe Montana riddled the Broncos' defense for 297 passing yards and five touchdowns, completing 22-of-29 passes. Montana's first of three touchdown passes to receiver Jerry Rice pushed the 49ers to a 7-0 lead, and after David Treadwell kicked a 42-yard field goal for the Broncos, the 49ers scored 34 consecutive points.

"No doubt they were better than us that day," Mecklenburg said, but the thought of losing by 45 points was just part of the anguish.

PHOTOS:Super Bowl XXIV, Broncos vs. 49ers

"That was a tough one for me," Mecklenburg said, remembering he had to leave the game in the first quarter with a knee injury. He believes the hit was intentional.

"It was an ugly thing," he said. "You can't do what happened without trying."

Irv Moss: 303-954-1296, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @irvmoss

Denver starters


Offense: WR Vance Johnson, LT Gerald Perry, LG Jim Juriga, C Keith Kartz, RG Doug Widell, RT Ken Lanier, TE Orson Mobley, WR Mark Jackson, QB John Elway, RB Steve Sewell, RB Bobby Humphrey.

Defense: LE Alphonso Carreker, NT Greg Kragen, RE Ron Holmes, LB Michael Brooks, LB Rick Dennison, LB Karl Mecklenburg, LB Simon Fletcher, CB Tyrone Braxton, CB Wymon Henderson, SS Dennis Smith, FS Steve Atwater.

Special teams: Place-kicker David Treadwell, punter Mike Horan.