San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) avoids getting taken down by Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Tevaughn Campbell (20) but can’t make the two point conversion in the first half at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood (AP News photo)
~ By Pearl Allison Lo
~ August 22, 2021
~ INGLEWOOD– San Francisco began and ended with the lead 15-10 in their first visit to SoFi Stadium for Los Angeles´ first official home game with 68,327 attendance.
There were a lot of penalties in the game, 13 for the 49ers and 12 for the Chargers, the first occurring with 14:18 left in the first.
San Francisco QB Jimmy Garoppolo started and stayed in for one drive like last game, because of how long the first drive lasted. He was able to avoid a sack and scramble for 10 yards, but was eventually intercepted by Asante Samuel Jr. The possession took 15 plays and lasted almost seven and a half minutes.
The 49ers got their first safety of the preseason when DL Jordan Willis sacked QB Easton Stick in the end zone with 10:42 left in the second.
With 9:07 left, this time it was the other San Francisco QB Trey Lance who was intercepted and it ended up more costly. The following possession after two penalties by the 49ers, the Chargers got the first touchdown. Stick made a three yard pass to WR Joshua Palmer with 5:49 left.
Los Angeles tacked on a field goal to make it 10-2 with just over a minute left to go in the half. This was thanks to a 39-yard long pass to WR Jalen Guyton near the beginning of the drive and despite offensive holding and intentional grounding penalties to the Chargers. LB Jonas Griffith for the 49ers also had a facemask penalty which offset the loss a bit.
The first half excitement wasn’t over yet though. Off a no huddle 12-yard gain by RB Wayne Gallman II to get to 3rd and 1, the 49ers called a timeout and Lance threw another deep pass to WR Trent Sherfield for the second game in a row, this one for 41 yards.
The Bolts then committed a 5-yard penalty and after another timeout, Lance threw five yards into the end zone to WR Mohamed Sanu Sr. and Lance ran to convert for two more points. Kicker Robbie Gould missed the extra point attempt, bringing the score back to within two.
Los Angeles brought in QB Chase Daniel for the second half.
Lance had his first non-scoring scramble go for eight yards as San Francisco regained the lead on almost a six and a half minute drive, in which they converted from 3rd down three times. Lance threw a 16-yard pass to WR Travis Benjamin with 5:01 left in the third.
Things kept going the 49ers’ way when they got their first interception with 13:13 left in the fourth. Safety Jared Mayden intercepted Daniel and went 54 yards for a score, but DL Shilique Calhoun was called for offensive holding.
The Niners committed a third turnover when new QB Nate Sudfeld fumbled on his second drive of the game and LB Cole Christiansen recovered.
San Francisco and the Chargers punted for the remainder of the game, most three and outs or extended by penalties. Bolts´ Jessie Lemonier committed the last penalty of the game with 1:49 left for roughing the passer.
Regarding the 49ers´ quarterbacks, Garoppolo threw 3 of 6 for 15 passing yards, 10 rushing yards and the one interception. Lance finished 8 of 14 for 102 passing yards, eight rushing yards, two scores, the one interception and was sacked twice. Sudfeld went 3 for 5 for 24 yards. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan remained noncommittal after the game between Garoppolo or Lance starting Week 1.
For the Bolts, Stick went 10 for 14 for 85 yards and one TD. Daniel went 14 of 21 for 60 yards and one interception. The San Francisco defense sacked each of them multiple times, Stick three times and Daniel twice.
Overall the Niners won the yardage game, 281-162. The biggest difference came via rushing, with San Francisco outrunning Los Angeles 148-53.
The Chargers rested all their offensive starters.
Up Next: The Niners play their third and final preseason game versus their former Bay Area rival, the Las Vegas Raiders August 29th at 1pm.