49ers

49ers beat Vikings in preseason opener, 17-6

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49ers beat Vikings in preseason opener, 17-6

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick led touchdown drives in an entirely different fashions to open the 49ers' exhibition season.Smith led the 49ers on a scoring drive that lasted more than seven minutes. Kaepernick's drive took all of 28 seconds, as he dashed 78 yards for a touchdown on his second snap of the game.The 49ers' two early touchdowns provided them with a lead they would not relinquish in a 17-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on a windy night at Candlestick Park.The 49ers played without veterans Justin Smith, Frank Gore and Mario Manningham, who were held out for undisclosed reasons.All did not go perfectly, as outside linebacker Aldon Smith hobbled off the field late in the first quarter with what the team disclosed as a "hip bruise."
NEWS: Smith leaves with hip bruise
Smith's drive was a methodical, 12-play, 84-yard drive that featured Brandon Jacobs converting a fourth-and-one play with a three-yard run. Jacobs also had a 23-yard run.Smith hit receiver Brett Swain on a four-yard scoring pass to cap the drive. Michael Crabtree started and played for the first time in the exhibition season. He caught a three-yard pass. Randy Moss played four snaps but did not see a pass come his way.Kaepernick took considerably less time, as he kept the ball on a read-option. He broke into the secondary untouched and fended off Minnesota cornerback Chris Cook with a stiff arm for the final yards of his 78-yard touchdown run.
Scott Tolzien replaced Kaepernick at start of second half and completed 10 of 13 passes for 84 yards.
UPS AND DOWNS: Rookie A.J. Jenkins made a phenomenal fingertip grab of a Kaepernick dart at the right sideline for a 15-yard reception. But Jenkins dropped two passes before making another nifty grab of a five-yarder.TWO-WAY PLAYER: Demarcus Dobbs was officially issued No. 40, so he could play on offense without reporting in. Dobbs first saw backup action along the defensive line in the first half. In the second half, he played tight end.GIORGIO GETS HIS KICKS: Former Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio handled all of the kicking duties in place of veteran David Akers. Tavecchio made both extra points and also added a 29-yard field goal.DEFENSIVE MIXUP: On the Vikings' second play of the game, quarterback Christian Ponder hit wide receiver Stephen Burton on a deep post beyond cornerback Carlos Rogers. The play went for 52 yards. As soon as the play was over, Rogers had a discussion with safety Dashon Goldson, who left the middle wide open when he bit on an underneath route.HAPPY RETURN: Kyle Williams was back deep to return punts for the 49ers in the first half. William handled Chris Kluwe's second-quarter punt flawlessly and ripped off a 22-yard return. On his next chance, Williams called for a fair catch when it looked as if he had some room to return.BAKHTIARI BACKS 'EM UP: Outside linebacker Eric Bakhtiari, who played for Jim Harbaugh at the University of San Diego, racked up two sacks on one series in the fourth quarter. His second sack came on a second-and-10 play from the 49ers' 33. The Vikings eventually were forced to punt.

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

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AP

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

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AP

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.