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NFL '97 WEEK 2 | SAN FRANCISCO 15, ST. LOUIS 12

49ers Aren't Sent Reeling This Time

September 08, 1997|From Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — Jim Druckenmiller spent Saturday night and Sunday morning videotaping everything that happened before his NFL debut as San Francisco's stand-in quarterback for Steve Young.

The game he played wasn't for the highlight reel, but it was a win. The 49ers continued their dominance of the St. Louis Rams with a 15-12 victory Sunday with the help of some great defense.

Druckenmiller, who reported to camp only four weeks ago after being San Francisco's No. 1 draft pick in April, threw a touchdown pass to J.J Stokes but was only 10 of 28 passing with three interceptions.

The game's decisive score came with 7:50 left when Garrison Hearst ran 35 yards for a touchdown. It followed the fourth St. Louis turnover, a fumble by Lawrence Phillips recovered by Tim McDonald at the Ram 47.

"This guy is incredible," tight end Brent Jones said after Druckenmiller's NFL debut. "He was looser before the game than I was. He was walking around with a video camera taking shots of everyone. I guess he's going to video his whole career."

The 49ers, with Jerry Rice out for the season because of a knee injury, also had four turnovers.

But San Francisco (1-1) still found a way to win without Rice, Young--who sat out because of a concussion--and backup quarterback Jeff Brohm, who has a broken finger on his throwing hand. All of those injuries came in the season-opening loss to Tampa Bay.

The 49er defense limited the Rams (1-1) to four Jeff Wilkins field goals and was tough on second-year quarterback Tony Banks, who was nine of 24 passing for 123 yards.

Banks, who set an NFL record last season with 21 fumbles, lost the ball twice was and stopped on a sneak on fourth and inches at the San Francisco 43 with 1:25 left.

"I don't think I've felt this bad after a game--ever," Banks said.

The Rams, who lost four previous games to San Francisco by 147-34 since moving to St. Louis from Anaheim, did have a sense of accomplishment: Unlike past games, the 49ers didn't try to rub it in as they were leaving the field.

"They had to know we were closing in on them," defensive tackle D'Marco Farr said. "I think they're smart enough not to taunt."

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