NFL Game Summary - San Francisco at Carolina
(Sunday, October 24th)
Final Score: Carolina 23, San Francisco 20
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - David Gettis hauled in a touchdown pass with
1:53 left before John Kasay kicked a 37-yard field goal with 39 seconds on the
clock, lifting the Carolina Panthers to their first win of the season, 23-20
over the San Francisco 49ers.
Carolina got the ball back after Gettis' touchdown thanks to an interception
by Richard Marshall. The cornerback picked off a pass from David Carr, who
entered the game after 49ers quarterback Alex Smith suffered a sprained
shoulder early in the third quarter.
Kasay's kick completed the improbable comeback for the Panthers (1-5), who had
scored just two points in the fourth quarter all season.
Matt Moore passed for a career-high 308 yards and two scores -- both to
Gettis -- on 28-of-41 passing, with one interception. Gettis ended with
eight catches for 125 yards, while Brandon LaFell had six catches for 91
yards. Gettis and LaFell, both rookies, recorded career highs in receiving
Carr completed just 5-of-13 passes for 67 yards, though Smith was just 9-of-19
for 129 yards and a score before suffering his injury. Frank Gore carried 19
times for 102 yards for San Francisco (1-6), which had won its first game of
the season last week against Oakland.
"I really felt we were on track to go forward," said 49ers head coach Mike
Singletary. "Came in here and they did a good job, they hung in there, they
played tough. We just have to regroup."
San Francisco's Joe Nedney kicked a 38-yard field goal four seconds into the
fourth quarter to create a 13-13 tie, and the Niners went in front on an
interception return by defensive end Ray McDonald on the ensuing Carolina
Moore scrambled to the right and intended to throw a short screen pass, but
the ball went directly to McDonald, who began running up the left sideline.
McDonald shake-and-baked Moore, who unsuccessfully tried for a shoestring
tackle, before picking up a block and rumbling into the end zone. The
31-yard touchdown, which came with 12:52 remaining, gave San Francisco a 20-13
Carolina then had to punt, but got the ball back after the 49ers went three-
and-out by using Gore exclusively, even on 3rd-and-18. The Panthers
threatened, and went for it on a 4th-and-9 from the San Francisco 16. But an
open Gettis wasn't able to haul in Moore's pass in the end zone.
However, Gettis didn't miss a second chance. Another Niners punt set Carolina
up at its own 37, and the Panthers drove downfield, facing a 3rd-and-2 from
the 23. Gettis ran up the left sideline and turned at the last moment to catch
Moore's pass in the end zone, tying the game.
"He's a stud," Moore said of Gettis. "I knew he felt bad. I could tell he was
real bummed out...I know everybody went over to him and said the cliche thing,
but it's so true, is you're going to get another shot. And he did and he made
the best of it."
San Francisco still had an excellent chance to score, with 1:53 remaining and
all three timeouts left. Carr even passed for 22 yards on the first play. But
later in the drive, Carr's pass to Michael Crabtree wasn't close to being a
completion, as Crabtree hadn't yet turned around and Marshall made the easy
Carolina had 1:08 on the clock and immediately got into field goal position,
as Moore found LaFell for 35 yards along the right sideline. That got the ball
to the San Francisco 22, and after a gain of several more yards, Kasay split
The 49ers didn't make it to midfield in the remaining time, and the game ended
with an illegal formation penalty -- one of 11 penalties San Francisco
The Niners scored on their first possession, thanks to several big plays. Gore
ran for 20 yards to get the ball near midfield, and Smith hooked up with
Vernon Davis for 53 yards on the next play. That got San Francisco to the one,
and Smith went to Davis again, finding the tight end open in the left flat for
Kasay kicked a 47-yard field goal on Carolina's next drive to make it a 7-3
game after one quarter. A DeAngelo Williams fumble early in the second quarter
led to a 24-yarder from Nedney with 8:44 left, but Carolina tied the game
before the half was through.
The Panthers traveled 80 yards in 10 plays, the last of which was Moore's 18-
yard strike to Gettis with 2:28 on the clock, making it a 10-10 game at the
Smith left the game on the opening drive in the third quarter, when he
suffered the injury on a sack by Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson. Carr
came in but faced a 3rd-and-28, and the Niners had to punt from their own two.
Carolina began the ensuing drive at its 43, and got onto the Niners' side of
the field before Kasay made a 55-yarder.
Panthers receiver Steve Smith returned to the field after missing the team's
last game with an ankle injury, and recorded four catches for 50
yards...Carolina avoided its first 0-6 start since beginning the 1998
season with seven losses...Williams ran for a team-high 44 yards and suffered
an apparent right leg injury late in the fourth quarter...Gettis entered the
game with 119 yards and no touchdowns in four games. LaFell had five
catches for 83 yards through his first four contests...Davis finished with
four catches for 74 yards for San Francisco, while Gore added four receptions
for 57 yards.
10/24 18:31:00 ET
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