Rallying past the Raiders
Dorsey brings San Francisco back for 14-10 winPosted: Thursday August 14, 2003 11:35 PM
Updated: Friday August 15, 2003 12:46 AM
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Ken Dorsey probably won't remember the nine incomplete passes and the other mistakes he made in his first game at Candlestick Park.
He'll only remember the touchdown pass that allowed him to fulfill a childhood dream by leading the San Francisco 49ers to a win -- even if it didn't count for anything but Bay area bragging rights.
Dorsey threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to fullback Matt Stanley with 2:19 left, giving the 49ers a 14-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night in the annual Battle of the Bay exhibition game.
Dorsey, a native of nearby Orinda who led the University of Miami to 38 victories and a national title during a prolific college career, had another strong game in his fight to make the 49ers' roster.
The seventh-round draft choice was just 6-of-15 for 47 yards -- but he made all of the most important throws during a 71-yard drive. Stanley nearly dropped the soft screen pass, but recovered from his bobble and dove across the goal line.
"It was a good building block for me," Dorsey said. "I did some good things on that drive and I did some bad things, but I'm going to learn a lot. I just tried to give my guys a chance to catch the ball and make plays."
Rick Mirer led the Raiders to the San Francisco 9 in the final minute, but the veteran quarterback fumbled a fourth-down snap with 26 seconds left.
Brandon Doman -- Dorsey's competition for the No. 3 quarterback job -- also threw a TD pass as the 49ers (2-0) rallied to beat the Raiders' third-string defenders in the fourth quarter.
"We made it about as exciting as we could for a preseason game," said 49ers coach Dennis Erickson, who won his home debut. "It's always nice to win. I just wish it counts."
After missing his first four kicks of the preseason, Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 45-yard field goal with 7:35 left for the Raiders (1-1), who got solid performances from their starters on both sides of the ball.
Exciting rookie Justin Fargas rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown, while Mirer was 9-of-16 for 134 yards. Not everything was good, however: Oakland committed 15 penalties for 114 yards.
"I was not real pleased about the penalties," Raiders coach Bill Callahan said. "[There were] way too many for what we are trying to stress and what we are trying to achieve. It was a little sloppy for our first road game, being on the road and playing in the noise. We have a lot of work to do there."
All-Pro center Barret Robbins also got his first preseason action on the Raiders' final possession of the first half. Robbins hadn't played since being suspended a few hours before the Super Bowl following a two-day drinking binge, and he has practiced sparingly in training camp while recovering from knee surgery.
"Honestly, it was pretty poor, but I think it will get better with time," Robbins said. "I need more reps, and I'm hopeful of getting them. Believe me, I need those other preseason games to get my reps and get down my timing."
Candlestick Park was wind-chilled and only half-full at game time -- though the early start on a weeknight was primarily responsible, since the stadium gradually filled. Raiders fans sat peacefully with San Francisco fans, but at least two small fights broke out in the stands.
San Francisco cut Oakland's lead to 16-15 in the overall Battle of the Bay preseason history, but the 49ers' 23-20 overtime victory last season was the teams' only regular-season meeting until 2006.
Doman hit Cedrick Wilson for a 10-yard score on the first play of a second-quarter drive set up by Pro Bowl linebacker Julian Peterson, who forced a fumble with a vicious sack of Marques Tuiasosopo. Peterson got to the quarterback untouched -- but that wasn't necessarily a good thing.
"I kind of wanted to beat somebody," Peterson said. "It was a good rush and a good call by the coaches, but I really wanted to beat someone one-on-one."
Oakland tied it up with a 64-yard scoring drive led by Mirer midway through the third quarter. Fargas, making the most of starter Charlie Garner's absence, and rookie receiver Teyo Johnson both had big plays, with Fargas easily scoring on a fourth-and-1 at the goal line.
"When the offensive line blocks that way, it's easier to get a rhythm and to have vision out there," Fargas said. "You can't think too much as a ball carrier. Just go out there and run and let your instincts take over."
Garner sat out for Oakland along with cornerbacks Phillip
Buchanon and rookie Nnamdi Asomugha.