Cardale Jones got the start at quarterback and after a Troymaine Pope kick return that made it to the 30, the offense went right back to Pope on a counter that went for a huge gain. While Pope was getting a breather, Detrez Newsome filled in and caught a pass in the flat for a 3-yard gain. On the next play from scrimmage, Jones escaped from pressure and scrambled up the middle for a short gain. On 3rd & 6, Jones had time, but was unable to find an open receiver. The failed 3rd down gave Michael Badgley a 42-yard field goal attempt which he converted.
On the subsequent kick off, Ty Long’s kick was short of the end zone and the kick coverage unit did not cover themselves in glory. They allowed Reed to return the kick 56 yards. The defense initially stepped up, though, holding the 49ers to a 1-yard gain on 1st down and an incompletion on 2nd. On 3rd & 9, the defense swarmed to the ball to stop the 49ers receiver 2 yards short of the sticks. Kyle Shanahan kept his offense on the field, though, and an incompletion resulted in a turnover on downs.
Pope got the first touch of the ensuing drive and was stopped for no gain. On 2nd & 10, Jones dropped back and saw the middle of the field completely empty. He smartly tucked the ball and scrambled for 13 yards. Sean Culkin got in the mix on the next play, hauling in a pass over the middle for 7 yards. Pope got the call again and was brought down short of the line to gain. Artavis Scott ran a wheel route toward the left sideline and Jones found him for a big gain. Derrick Gore received his first carry of the night moving right to left and he cut up field for a solid gain that set up 1st & goal. Gore got his number called twice more including on a read option where Jones misread the defense. On 3rd & goal, Jones had Culkin open in the back of the end zone but the pass bounced off Culkin’s hands. Badgley came on for a 28-yard field goal and was able to put the ball through the uprights.
C.J. Beathard’s first pass of the next drive went to Deebo Samuel near the right sideline for a 1st down. Jeff Wilson Jr. took a handoff on the next play and picked up another new set of downs running off right tackle. Wilson got the call again on the next play and rushed for 4 yards. Behard’s faked a hand off, rolled to his left and beat the Chargers’ defenders to the 1st down marker. A wide receiver screen to Samuel on 1st down picked up a 4-yard gain on the next play. A false start moved the offense backward prior to their next snap. Austin Walter got those yards and more back on the next play as he rushed for a 1st down. Walter rushed to the left side on his next carry and nearly got to the sticks again, but a holding penalty wiped it away. Wilson ripped off a 41-yard touchdown run on the following 1st & 20 after he completely reversed field. Robbie Gould converted the point after attempt to take the lead.
Gore started the drive with a 4-yard gain. On 2nd & 6, Jones had all day once again and he found Andre Patton over the middle for a pickup of 16. With that, the 1st quarter came to an end.
Gore took the first carry of the 2nd quarter for another 4-yard gain. Jones scrambled for another 1st down on the next snap after being unable to find an open receiver. Newsome returned to the field and was stopped for a short gain on his first carry. Jones shook one tackler to avoid a sack, but then he held onto the ball too long and ended up taking one anyway. Newsome ripped off a long gain on a catch and run down the left sideline. Culkin was wide open for a walk-in touchdown on the next play and Jones badly missed him. Gore was stuffed on a rush up the middle on the next play to bring up 3rd & 10. On 3rd down, Jones was nearly picked off, but that was after an obvious incidence of defensive holding which set up 1st & 10 from the 16. Newsome picked up a big block from Culkin and he finished the run with force being stopped just short of the end zone. The offensive line got no push on 1st & goal, but Newsome could not be denied and he celebrated with a backflip. Badgley converted the extra point.
C.J. Beathard rolled to his right and tried to connect with Kendrick Bourne, but he could not secure the pass. Wilson rushed up the middle for 7 yards on 2nd down but was stuffed on 3rd to force a punt.
Jeremy Cox took over at running back for the Chargers and on his first carry, he picked up 9. Jones rolled to his right on 2nd & 1, and he found Scott for a new set of downs. On the next play, Jones had all day again, but he could not connect with Patton. Cox carried the ball again for 7 yards to set up 3rd & 3. Jason Moore saw his first target of the game and he secured it for a 1st down. Matt Sokol followed that up with his first catch of the night picking up a 17-yard gain. Newsome returned and rushed for 3 and 4 yards on his next carries. Cox caught a short pass and made a defender miss before being tackled just shy of the goal line. They gave Cox a shot to punch it in on 1st & goal, but there was no movement created by the line. Jones kept the ball on the next play and the defense was not fooled as they stopped him short. On 3rd & goal, Jones could not find an open receiver, so he ran for it and scored with an impressive leap along the sideline. Badgley again converted the point after.
Chris Peace got the 49ers’ next drive off to a rough start making a tackle for loss. Kemon Hall then drew a flag for defensive pass interference on the subsequent play. Another Walter carry went for 5 yards and brought us to the 2-minute warning. Another run moved the sticks. Beathard connected with WIlson for an 8-yard gain. Jatavis Brown appeared to suffer an injury making a tackle on the next play. He was bent over backward on the play. He was able to walk off the field under his own power. Beathard connected with his tight end on the next play and the 49ers called a timeout. T.Y. McGill met the runner at the line of scrimmage on the next play and San Francisco had to call another timeout. Bourne showed up again with a diving catch in the end zone. Gould’s extra point attempt was good.
Pope returned the kick off to just short of the 25, and Jones came on to try to run the hurry-up offense. Scott was wide open to the offense’s left and Jones hit him in stride for a big gain. Jones held the ball too long and did not feel the pressure on the next snap and he took a sack. Patton got loose deep to the right side, but Jones could not get the ball to him. Another incompletion on the next snap brought on 4th down and the punting unit. A penalty on the Chargers forced a replay of the punt. Fouls by both teams on the next punt offset and the 49ers came on to run the final play of the half by taking a knee.
On the first play of the second half, Drue Tranquill forced a fumble, but it was recovered by the offense. Nick Mullens connected with Henry for a 1st down on the next snap. Wilson was then stopped for a short gain on the subsequent 1st down. Mullens badly overthrew his receiver for an incompletion on the next play. Quick pressure forced another errant throw on 3rd down and the punting unit came on.
Easton Stick, taking over inside the 5, handed off to Newsome for a short gain then flipped a short pass to Cox for another short gain before quick pressure caused a throwaway from the end zone. Ty Long then came on to punt it away.
Wilson took another carry for 7 yards to start the drive. McGill made a tackle to stop the runner short of the sticks on 2nd down. On 3rd & 1, Pickett made the stop to force 4th down. On 4th down, the offense went for it and the offensive line got more than enough push to move the sticks. On a deep throw, Nasir Adderley had the ball in his hands but he could not haul it in. Walter picked up 4 yards on a rush up the middle to set up 3rd & 6. A wide receiver screen easily converted the 3rd down. The defense showed up on 1st down, but then disappeared again on 2nd giving up a 10-yard run. Two plays later, Adderley just missed another potential interception. On 3rd & 14, the defense forced another incompletion, but Peace was flagged for roughing the passer. On 1st & goal, Wilson took the ball and got inside the 5. The defense stuffed the run again on 2nd down and on 3rd down, the 49ers botched the handoff. Gould then came on for the chip-shot field goal attempt which he made.
Stick’s first play of the following drive was a bad interception deep down the right side of the field.
After an encroachment penalty by Reggie Howard, back-to-back tackles by Tranquill set up 3rd & 5. Then, another defensive penalty by Howard moved the sticks anyway. An aborted snap later, the clock ran out on the 3rd quarter.
Two plays into the final quarter of the preseason, Adderley managed to come down with an interception.
Consecutive runs by Gore set up 3rd & 5 for Stick, but a false start made it 3rd & 10. The offensive line then gave the defense a free run at Stick and he had nowhere to go. Pass protection continues to be a glaring weakness.
Anthony Lanier II started the drive with a tackle for loss. Wilton Speight got that yardage back and more with a scramble. An incomplete pass later, the punting unit was coming on.
On the punt return, Scott managed to get across the 20. Stick’s brutal night continued with another interception.
Runs of 9, 0, and 1 yards by Walter moved the sticks. After an incomplete pass, the 49ers picked up 6 on the ground. On 3rd down, Adderley made a touchdown -saving tackle on Daniel Helm. It only took one play for Walter to get into the end zone and put the 49ers ahead, though.
An ill-advised bit of trickery to Justice Liggins put the offense in a hole to start the next drive. Cox got the lost yards back, but set up 3rd & 10. Stick made a solid read and throw to Malachi Dupre to convert for the 1st down. Cox took a pitch and ran for another on the next play. Gore then chipped in with a 6-yard carry followed by a 21-yard rush. A 10-yard run by Cox took us to the 2-minute warning. Gore was stopped after a gain of 2 on his next carry, but on the one after that he would not be stopped and he rushed for a relatively easy 11-yard touchdown and the lead.
Following a touchback, an 23-yard pass and a moronic penalty on Nick Dzubnar put the 49ers just shy of midfield. A 7-yard pass moved them across the 50. An incompletion set up 3rd & 3 which they easily converted on the ground. A San Francisco timeout stopped the clock with 57 seconds remaining. Adarius Pickett then iced the game with an interception.