Claremore Daily Progress

Sports

November 12, 2012

Rams, 49ers battle to 24-24 tie

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams left Candlestick Park unsure how to feel.

No win to celebrate, no loss to stew about and fuel a fresh week of practice and preparation.

Hmmmm, a rare, baffling tie.

Niners center Jonathan Goodwin compared Sunday's 24-24 finish to a three-hour scrimmage - just by a bunch of multimillionaires with a national audience watching and bettors fretting.

"First time ever,'' Goodwin said. "Baseball as a kid, anything, I don't remember finishing a game tied. It almost felt basically like we got a practice.''

Neither team wanted this. Not the NFC West-leading 49ers, with a chance to separate themselves against a division rival. Or the Rams, eager to snap a three-game losing streak.

"It is a huge letdown,'' Rams running back Steven Jackson said.

Two typically sure-footed kickers missed in overtime as San Francisco and St. Louis played the NFL's first tie game in four years. The previous tie was between Philadelphia and Cincinnati, 13-13 in 2008. San Francisco played its first tie since 1986.

"I have to say, I've been doing this a while. I don't think I've ever been in a game like this,'' Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. "As I told our guys, we had a number of chances to put the game away. And, unfortunately, we didn't.''

Greg Zuerlein kicked a 53-yarder, but the Rams were penalized 5 yards for delay of game - which holder Johnny Hekker said was his fault. Zuerlein tried again from 58 as Fisher played for the win, and missed wide right with 2:42 left in OT.

San Francisco's David Akers missed wide left on a 41-yard attempt that could have sealed it for the 49ers (6-2-1), who lost quarterback Alex Smith to a first-half concussion.

And just when it seemed the 49ers - and Akers' typically reliable left leg - would have one more chance to win it, San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis was flagged for holding Lance Kendricks on third down. That extended St. Louis' last drive, a costly mistake in a long list of them on an uncharacteristically sloppy day by coach Jim Harbaugh's team.

"I don't know what to make of this,'' Willis said. "We have one of the best kickers in the game, and it came down to him at the end and he misses it. That tells you right there something wasn't right.''

Akers made a tying 33-yarder with 3 seconds left in regulation after Sam Bradford threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Austin Pettis with 1:09 remaining.

On the first play of OT, Bradford completed an 80-yard pass to Danny Amendola that took St. Louis (3-5-1) to the 2, but the play was called back for an illegal formation. Some 49ers fans got up to leave, then returned to their seats.

Frank Gore ran for a 20-yard touchdown with 8:23 to go in regulation just 17 seconds after backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick scurried 7 yards for a score. Kaepernick finished 11 for 17 for 117 yards and also had eight carries for 66 yards, calmly leading the Niners after it took several series to find his groove.

"It just feels like it's unfinished business,'' San Francisco cornerback Tarell Brown said.

Gore ran for 97 yards, while Michael Crabtree made five catches for 70 yards and a 14-yard touchdown from Smith before he left the game.

Amendola returned for the Rams following a three-game absence with a shoulder injury to make 11 catches for 102 yards. Bradford went 26 for 39 for 275 yards and two touchdowns.

Smith took a hard hit on the back of the neck from linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar after a scramble with 1:10 left in the first quarter. But the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft stayed in and completed his next five passes, including Crabtree's TD.

After the hit, Smith was sacked three plays later and also clobbered again on a fourth-and-1 keeper. Doctors indicated to Harbaugh that might have been the play that caused the injury.

Harbaugh said Smith would be evaluated this week per NFL concussion protocol. He wasn't available to speak to reporters. Smith, who has started 28 straight games, wound up 7 for 8 for 72 yards.

The 49ers didn't face Bradford in either meeting last season as the Rams quarterback missed six games with a high left ankle sprain. He had all kinds of extra opportunities this time.

"It's a weird feeling. I've never been a part of a game like that before,'' Bradford said. "I think the mood in this locker room is disappointment.''

Late in the third period, the Rams benefited from Dashon Goldson's 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taking off his helmet. Then, defensive tackle Ray McDonald was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Bradford when he came in under the quarterback's chin, extending another Rams drive. Zuerlein kicked a 27-yard field goal.

The penalties and miscues were uncharacteristic of San Francisco's defense.

Crabtree's touchdown midway through the second quarter gave him a TD reception in five straight games against the Rams. It was his third touchdown in two games, and all of his team-leading four TD catches have come in the past five games.

Kaepernick took over as Smith went to the bench to be examined by medical personnel and soon left for the locker room.

One wild play late in the first half summed up this wacky day. Punter Hekker completed a 21-yard pass to safety Rodney McLeod from the end zone after Chris Culliver didn't cover McLeod. Hekker did it again in the fourth quarter and had a 118.8 passer rating on the day.

On the Rams' 14-play, 81-yard drive over the final minutes of regulation, Hekker faked an end-around and threw a 19-yard completion to Kendricks on fourth-and-8 from the Rams 33.

But the Rams' defense couldn't get a stop, allowing Kaepernick to get his team back into field-goal range for Akers to tie it.

The Rams played without a pair of starters held out for an unspecified team rules violation, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and wide receiver Chris Givens - and Fisher said afterward he isn't sure if they will play next week at home against the New York Jets.

The 49ers will regroup to face the Bears in prime time.

"It feels weird,'' safety Donte Whitner said. "We're about wins around here.''

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • DSC_0237web.jpg Hrdlicka, Teter pour ‘heart’ into Zebra soccer program

    For the past four years, Claremore High School seniors Katelin Teter and Nick Hrdlicka have represented the ‘heart and soul’ of the Lady Zebra and Zebra soccer programs.
    The soccer duo will join seven other seniors on Friday night for Homecoming against Collinsville at Lantow Field.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • DSC_0014web.jpg 9 straight for Lady Zebras

    Claremore sophomore forward Bailey Steckline got the ‘hat-trick’ plus one Tuesday night in the Lady Zebras’ 10-0 win over Tulsa Memorial at  LaFortune Stadium.
    Steckline tallied two goals in the first half, and added two more in the second to complete her impressive night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0156web.jpg Tulsa Memorial holds off Zebras, 2-1

    Tulsa Memorial scored a pair of first-half goals  to steal the momentum away from the Claremore Zebras, as well as the 2-1 win Tuesday night in Metro Lakes Conference action at LaFortune Stadium.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0015web.jpg BASEBALL: Whatley, Howe power Zebras past Tahlequah

    Claremore’s Matt Whatley has proven over the past four years that he’s one of the toughest outs in the Metro Lakes Conference.
    On Tuesday, Whatley went 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple while sparking the Zebras to a 12-2 win over Tahlequah in five innings at American Legion Park.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Dewey takes pair from Sequoyah

    It’s very difficult to win when you can’t score.
    Class 4A third-ranked Dewey blanked homestanding Sequoyah 7-0 and 2-0 in a district doubleheader on Tuesday, improving to 21-3 with a dominating two-hit pitching performance in the opener and a four-hitter in the nightcap.

    April 18, 2014

  • SOCCER: Sequoyah topples No. 15 Catoosa, 1-0

    Sequoyah boys soccer coach Bob Campbell had one phrase to sum up his feelings following the Eagles’ game with 15th ranked Catoosa at home Tuesday night.
    “We’re in the driver’s seat.’’
    Alex Bourgeois scored late in the first half and Sequoyah made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over the Indians in a showdown for the district lead.

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson sprints Zebras to 1st place at OBU Relays

    Claremore senior sprinter Tyler Jackson felt the need for speed Wednesday afternoon at the Oklahoma Baptist University High School Invitational.
    Jackson notched a pair of first-place victories in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash to help Claremore earn 130 points for top honors.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Arkansas Tech roughs up ‘Cats

    The Rogers State University baseball team had a disappointing finish in its home finale as No. 12-ranked Arkansas Tech blanked the Hillcats 11-0 Tuesday evening in non-conference action from the Diamond Sports Complex.

    April 18, 2014

  • BASEBALL: Southwest Baptist slips past NSU, 5-3

     The Northeastern State baseball team lost 5-3 to Southwest Baptist Thursday afternoon at Dobson Field.
     
    The RiverHawks (19-22, 15-18 MIAA) held a 3-0 lead early in the contest, but a late rally from the Bearcats (23-18, 19-13 MIAA) and costly errors from the visitors allowed the home team to secure the series-opening triumph.

    April 18, 2014

  • WOMEN'S TENNIS: Conference champion NSU lands top seed in MIAA tourney

    The No. 31-ranked Northeastern State women's tennis team has drawn the top seed in the 2014 MIAA Women's Tennis Championship, the league announced Thursday morning.

    April 18, 2014