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(Sunday, December 4th)
Final Score: San Francisco 26, St. Louis 0
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Frank Gore became San Francisco's all- time leading rusher, and the 49ers clinched their first NFC West title in nine years by shutting out the St. Louis Rams, 26-0.
Gore needed just 22 yards to surpass Hall-of-Famer Joe Perry's all-time mark of 7,344 yards, and did so with a simple two-yard run off the right edge in the second quarter.
"It's a powerful thing to set that kind of a record," 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh said.
Gore finished the game with 73 yards rushing on 21 carries for San Francisco (10-2), which last won the NFC West in 2002.
"It's the first step," 49ers quarterback Alex Smith said. "We talked about it all week, win the division."
Smith completed 17-of-23 passes for 274 yards and two second-half touchdowns, while Michael Crabtree caught four balls for 96 yards and a score.
Sam Bradford was a game-time scratch after being limited in practice during the week because of a sprained left ankle he aggravated last Sunday against the Cardinals.
A.J. Feeley got the start and completed 12-of-22 passes for 156 yards and an interception for the Rams (2-10), who were outgained in total yards, 389-157.
The 49ers went 46 yards in 10 plays before David Akers nailed a 36-yard field goal to give San Francisco a 3-0 lead with 4:54 to go in the first quarter.
49ers star linebacker Patrick Willis injured his right hamstring while trying to tackle Brit Miller after an 18-yard catch on St. Louis' ensuing series.
Willis did not return.
Ray MacDonald forced Feeley to fumble early in the second quarter and Aldon Smith recovered the ball at the Rams' six-yard line. The turnover led to Akers' second field goal, this time a 19-yard chip shot to make it 6-0.
Akers booted his third field goal from 28 yards away to give San Francisco a 9-0 lead late in the second stanza. Gore broke off a 20-yard run to highlight the 10-play, 55-yard drive.
San Francisco took its first possession of the second half 88 yards in four plays as Crabtree broke free down the middle of the field for a 52-yard score to make it 16-0.
Akers booted through his fourth field goal after the Rams punted on the ensuing drive, this one from 34 yards out to make it 19-0.
Smith connected with Kyle Williams for a 56-yard score early in the fourth quarter to increase the margin to 26-0.
Perry played for San Francisco from 1948-1960, and returned to the 49ers to finish out his career in 1963. His finest season came in 1954 when he led the NFL in rushing with 1,049 yards in 12 games played...San Francisco's last shutout came in Week 4 of the 2009 season against the Rams, 35-0...The 49ers led the time of possession battle, controlling the ball for 36:04.
12/04 20:54:34 ET
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