FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — America, meet Sterling Moore.

A nice kid. Twenty-one years old. Doesn’t say much. Played college ball at SMU.

Got cut from the Oakland Raiders practice squad back in September.

He’s also the kid who put the New England Patriots in their fifth Super Bowl in the last 11 years.

Yeah, everyone will remember that Baltimore’s Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal in the final seconds to allow the Patriots to escape with a 23-20 win in the AFC championship game Sunday at Gillette Stadium.

But if Moore, who will turn 22 on Feb. 3 (two days before Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis) doesn’t make his play on Lee Evans with 22 seconds remaining — knocking a sure touchdown catch out of Evans’ hands — the Patriots are done.

“Phenomenal play,” said Rodney Harrison, the former Patriots safety who visited their locker room afterward and knows a little something about making big plays. “Just a phenomenal play.”

Backtrack a little bit please, because Moore’s journey to his 15 seconds of fame is a little complicated.

After Oakland released him, the Patriots signed him to their practice squad on Oct. 5. Ten days later, he was signed to their active roster.

Because the Patriots were trying out just about everyone and anyone in their secondary to plug the sieve it had become, Moore was released on Oct. 17.

Two days later, he was re-signed to New England’s practice squad. On Nov. 9, he was activated to the 53-man roster and has been there since, playing cornerback when the Patriots moved Devin McCourty to safety.

Sunday, he had his chance to shine, but McCourty wasn’t surprised.

“The thing about this guy is that he comes over here and he’s on the practice squad and all that, but the confidence he plays with and the ability that he has, I don’t think it’s been missed since he’s been here, and I don’t think it’s been overlooked by anyone,” said McCourty. “I think that’s why he’s here. He’s been making plays since he’s been there.

“And at the end of the game, there was no doubt in my mind that if they threw his way, he was going to make the play, because that’s what he’s been doing.”

So let’s reset the clock, shall we.

The Ravens trailed 23-20 when they got the ball back at their 21 with 1:44 remaining. Calmly, Joe Flacco drove them down field to a second-and-1 at the Patriots 14-yard line.

There, he threw the ball to Evans in the right corner of the end zone, Moore trailing in coverage. Evans made the catch on a ball that was brilliantly thrown. But before he could maintain control, Moore reached in with his right hand and knocked the ball free.

Incomplete pass.

Next play, the Patriots put pressure on Flacco, he throws incomplete to Dennis Pitta. Who’s in coverage? Moore.

Next play, Cundiff misses his field goal.

But it was the second-down play that set all else in motion.

“I had no idea the ball was coming, (Evans) did a great job of not tipping off the ball was coming,” said Moore, recounting his play over and over. “I saw him catch it and, I don’t know, I did whatever I could to get the ball out.”

He thought the Patriots season was over. “I thought it was all on me,” he said. “But I just tried to keep my composure and make the play.”

Instinctively, he reached in. “Just slap the ball out, that was a reaction,” said Moore.

But it’s also something the Patriots do every day in practice.

“First time I’ve used it in the game,” said Moore. “And, you know, it was just taking what we do in practice to the game.”

Do your job. Make the plays. That’s all Moore has been trying to do ever since he got to Gillette Stadium.

“I’m very fortunate, blessed to me here,” he said, staring at the bright camera lights. “When I was released (by Oakland) who knew if I would be picked up? What team? When?

“I’m just glad to be here and have the opportunity that Coach (Bill) Belichick gave me.”

And now it’s on to the Super Bowl.

Moore was in Dallas at the Super Bowl last year as a fan. The father of a teammate of his at SMU, Ryan Walker, had tickets and gave one to Moore. His seats were up high.

“Absolutely I’m going to have a better view this time,” he said. “I won’t have to watch the game on the screen this time.”

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