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SAN FRANCISCO 38, PHOENIX 28

Flashes of Owens Enough for 49ers

October 28, 2002|From Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — Long after the beauty of Terrell Owens' two touchdown catches faded, the San Francisco 49ers hung on for an ugly victory that kept them atop the NFC West.

Jeff Garcia passed for 252 yards and threw two of his four touchdown passes to Owens as the 49ers took a big early lead and held off the Arizona Cardinals for a 38-28 victory Sunday.

Arizona and San Francisco were tied for first place in the division, but the more experienced 49ers (5-2) scored 24 points -- including a 21-yard touchdown reception by Owens -- before the second quarter was a minute old. Owens added another touchdown late in the first half, sprinting through the secondary for a 61-yard score.

"I'm watching in awe in a lot of ways," said Garcia, who completed 18 of 28 passes. "To take a simple slant pass like that and move it all the way for a touchdown ... T.O. gives us a capacity that very few teams have."

Owens finished with eight catches for 132 yards. He even signed another one of his catches with a pen from his sock -- but it was during pregame warmups, when he caught a practice pass and pulled the same trick that earned him a warning from the league after he did it during a victory over Seattle two weeks ago. This time, Owens handed the ball to a child.

The 49ers, missing several injured regulars and struggling on defense, barely hung on against Arizona's second-half rally. Jake Plummer twice got the Cardinals (4-3) within 10 points, and they were driving again when Ronnie Heard made his third interception with 5:26 left for the 49ers.

Marcel Shipp ran for two touchdowns for the Cardinals.

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