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49ers Eclipse Chiefs' Stars

November 11, 2002|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — From the Kansas City Chiefs' first snap to their final play, Julian Peterson was all over Tony Gonzalez -- and everybody else on the San Francisco 49ers' surging defense piled on Priest Holmes.

Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow each rushed for a touchdown, and San Francisco bottled up Kansas City's offensive stars as the 49ers beat the Chiefs, 17-13, Sunday for their sixth win in seven games.

San Francisco (7-2) got only 323 total yards from its high-powered offense and was shut out in the second half, but elevated its play on defense to hold Kansas City (4-5) -- the NFL's highest scoring team at 32.4 points a game -- to its lowest total of the season.

"It was a dominant game," 49er linebacker Derek Smith said. "When you have a performance like that, it's not one player. It's everybody."

Peterson, the 49ers' third-year linebacker, drew one of the toughest chores: man-to-man coverage of Gonzalez, the Chiefs' All-Pro tight end. No problem, Peterson told his coaches all week long -- and then he backed up his words with the biggest game of his career.

Peterson held Gonzalez to one catch for six yards -- and when the Chiefs drove to midfield on their final possession, Peterson ended the threat with an acrobatic deflection of Trent Green's fourth-down pass to Gonzalez.

"I never thought we'd clamp down on their offense like that, but we had a great plan," Peterson said. "The guys were giving me a lot of the credit, but I'd say that everybody came together."

The 49ers also held NFL rushing leader Holmes to 51 yards rushing and one reception, though he scored his league-leading 16th touchdown on a 12-yard run in the second quarter.

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