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A WALL OF 49ERS
Tex Maule
November 09, 1959
San Francisco's pros, playing near-perfect defensive football, shut out the explosive Rams in early October. Here is how they may do it again when the teams meet Sunday in the Los Angeles Coliseum
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November 09, 1959

A Wall Of 49ers

San Francisco's pros, playing near-perfect defensive football, shut out the explosive Rams in early October. Here is how they may do it again when the teams meet Sunday in the Los Angeles Coliseum

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Ring of red jerseys around a lone Ram receiver was a typical sight. Another pass bounces away from harried Clarke into hands of approaching Tubbs (50) while Woodson (40), Dove (44), Hazeltine (55) and Baker (25) prepare to block for Tubbs.

Payoff for unrelenting pursuit comes again in this interception, initiated by Baker as he goes up with Clarke (84) to bat away a quick pass over center. Woodson (40) has left Shofner to hurry to the scene with Linebackers Tubbs (50) and Hazeltine (55).

Reward for haste came in the form of interception by Woodson. Baker slapped ball away from Clarke and straight down, but the hurrying Woodson arrived to make shoestring catch, converting what would otherwise have been an incomplete pass into one of the three interceptions which helped keep the high-geared Ram offense outside the 49er 29-yard line all afternoon in a true classic of defensive football. Clarke was prime target because of close guarding of Phillips, Shofner.

THE OFFENSE WORKED TOO

A good offense is not necessarily the best defense, but it helps. The 49ers, led by aging, bald Quarterback Y. A. Tittle, used Coach Hickey's imaginative, resourceful play book superbly well. Surprisingly, they were most effective with a walloping running attack powered by 32-year-old Joe Perry and a refugee from the defense, big, oak-legged J. D. Smith. Quick, accurate passes foiled any Ram tendency to overdefend against this running; and the blocking was very good all day. Tittle himself added to both running and receiving by picking up 22 yards on a surprise gallop and completing pass to himself which was good for four yards.

Powerful perry (34) follows a blocker on one of his sweeps which gained consistently. Now in his 12th season, Perry has gained more yards running than anyone in NFL history.

Running mate for Perry, J. D. Smith (24), is convoyed by Hugh McElhenny (39), himself an All-Pro runner who is now used on the wing of 49er attack where he is available as a receiver and where he blocks corner defender infallibly.

Touchdown pass to End Billy Wilson (84) came when the alert Tittle, on fourth and one at the Ram 13, noticed that Wilson was covered by lone defender, changed his signal at the line of scrimmage and tossed quick pass to Wilson. Wilson eluded Tom Franckhauser and scored easily. This quick reaction to a weakness in the Ram defense was typical of the 49ers' attack.

Acting ability of McElhenny (39) made this screen pass go for 62-yard touchdown against Detroit last week. McElhenny blocks, falls to ground to lull defense, jumps up to take short pass, follow screen of waiting linemen for gain or touchdown.

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