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Victory Without Owens Worthy of Celebration

October 02, 2000|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — When Terrell Owens returns to the San Francisco 49ers today, his teammates will be celebrating consecutive victories for the first time in more than a year.

Charlie Garner rushed for two touchdowns and Jeff Garcia passed for 220 yards and another score Sunday as the 49ers held off a late rally by Jake Plummer to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-20.

The 49ers have won two in a row for the first time since the third and fourth weeks of last season--and they did it without Owens, their top receiver. He was suspended from the game by Coach Steve Mariucci because of his midfield touchdown celebrations last week at Dallas.

"We will welcome him back," Mariucci said. "We're going to begin again. He will jump right in, and he will help us win football games this season."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday October 6, 2000 Home Edition Sports Part D Page 18 Sports Desk 1 inches; 23 words Type of Material: Correction
Pro football--San Francisco 49er receiver Jerry Rice caught the 171st touchdown pass of his career Sunday. The total was incorrectly reported in a story Monday.

After opening the season with three losses, San Francisco (2-3) has won twice thanks to an offense that's quietly finding its stride and a young defense that mostly stifled the Cardinals (1-3).

"Nothing came easy," said Garcia, who stayed patient in the pocket and completed 22 of 33 passes with no interceptions. "We weren't able to get into any type of rhythm. We had to work for everything we got, so there's a measure of satisfaction in that."

Garcia has 1,122 yards passing, 11 touchdown passes and only four interceptions.

Jerry Rice had seven catches--among them his 141st touchdown reception--for 66 yards. J.J. Stokes caught four passes for 62 yards and Tai Streets had four receptions for 47 yards.

It was another discouraging loss for Arizona. The Cardinals, who have the NFL's worst rushing offense, again struggled to run the ball and lost for the seventh time in eight games dating to last season.

"We're not on level ground anymore," Arizona cornerback Aeneas Williams said. "We're six feet under. So the first thing we've got to do is figure out how to get some oxygen down there and get us back up."

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