The San Diego Chargers won the coin toss and elected to defer. The first action of the night was solid kickoff coverage from the Chargers as they kept the 49ers inside the 20-yard line.
Starting from their own 15-yard line, the 49ers started with a 9-yard pass play, then followed it with three running plays that picked up positive yardage and got the 49ers across midfield. Another pair of completed passes moved them inside the 40 before a personal foul undid most of a 20-yard scramble by Colin Kaepernick. A short run and the game’s first incomplete pass brought up a 3rd and 3 from inside the 30 that Kaepernick converted by finding the man Craig Mager was covering.
After forcing a 3rd and long, the Chargers allow a long pass play that sets up 1st and goal from inside the 5. Two handoffs to DuJuan Harris got the 49ers on the board, but a failed two-point conversion was a moral victory of sorts for the defense.
Kellen Clemens led the Chargers offense onto the field and it was apparent early that they wanted to see what Kenneth Farrow could do as three of the first four plays went his way including a very nice catch and run where he embarrassed a 49ers defender. Sean McGrath also made a couple nice plays picking up decent yards after catch. The drive finally ended when Clemens missed a wide open DeAndre Reaves on a deep pass turning the ball over on downs.
The defense responded by forcing a quick three and out that resulted in a 49ers punt. Dexter McCoil laid a big hit but didn’t wrap up Showed both his potential and how raw he still is in one play.
With the offense back on the field, Clemens found Isaiah Burse on a slant for 18 yards. Clemens threw a hospital ball on 2nd down before finding Burse in the middle of the field again for a first down. Another third down and another Burse catch moved the chains. A few nice catches by Dom Williams and another by Asante Cleveland moved the offense inside the 5. From there, Chris Swain was able to punch it in for six.
The defense seemed like it had a stop at midfield before they allowed a 15-yard run on 4th and inches. McCoil let another interception through his hands, but this time, he at least broke up the pass. 49ers settle for a field goal attempt.
The Mike Bercovici led offense started the second half with a big play to Dom Williams. Then, Farrow broke off a 44-yard run to get inside the 10-yard line. He finished the job on his next carry scoring a six-yard touchdown.
Jeff Driskel replaced Kaepernick for the second half. Driskel immediately picked up a big chunk of yards running, but when he put the ball in the air, Adrian McDonald picked him off. Bercovici gave it right back with a bad interception. Driskel wasted little time giving the ball back with an interception by Trevor Williams with an assist from pressure by Chris Landrum who is a practice squad candidate.
Gus Johnson, whom the Chargers claimed off waivers, got the offense started with a first down run on first down. Swain moved the chains again with an 11-yard catch and run. Burse capped the drive off with a beautiful catch and run.
The 49ers went three and out again. Landrum flashed his talent again. The Chargers drive was killed by a sack that was the result of a blown assignment by Johnson.
Christian Ponder replaced Driskel at quarterback and made a couple nice throws to move the offense. An offensive pass interference penalty negated a long touchdown pass to tight end Blake Bell. The drive eventually ended on a failed field goal attempt.
Johnson flashes some impressive ability on a catch and run, but he gives it back with a taunting penalty. That’s not a good look for a guy trying to make the roster. And then the drive just fell apart before the Chargers punted the ball away on 4th and 31.
Ben Gardner notched another sack and continued to make his case for inclusion on the practice squad if not the 53-ma roster, but Ponder eventually scored on a rushing touchdown.
The offense was barely back on the field before a strip sack sent them back to the sideline. Kelvin Taylor had a nice run that put the 49ers inside the 10 and another that moved them inside the 5. Then Ponder scrambled for another touchdown. Taylor stretched the lead to three by converting the two-point attempt.
Another Bercovici interception, this one off a deflection, iced the game for all intents and purposes. In his defense, there was very obvious pass interference on the play. The 49ers then began to run clock and presumably also try to score, but most importantly they ran time off the clock. Kelvin Taylor scored on an option run to make the final score look worse than the game suggested.
Bercovici and the offense then took the field with a chance to run a two minute drill. And they went three and out. The 49ers then were able to kneel down twice and get out of the game with no major injuries to either side.