Kragthorpe: Utahns have a place in Candlestick Park lore
As the San Francisco 49ers stage the last scheduled event at Candlestick Park on Monday night, here are five memorable events in the stadium's history involving athletes with Utah ties, in chronological order:
Jan. 10, 1982 • Joe Montana delivered the winning touchdown pass to Dwight Clark a play that would become known as "The Catch" with 51 seconds remaining in the 49ers' 28-27 win over Dallas in the NFC championship game. Bill Ring, a former BYU running back, played a consistent role for the 49ers, with six carries for 27 yards in that game. San Francisco then defeated Cincinnati in the Super Bowl.
Jan. 6, 1985 • With BYU products Tom Holmoe and Todd Shell among their defensive players, the 49ers beat Chicago 23-0 in the NFC championship game. Ring and former Utah star Carl Monroe played on offense and special teams for San Francisco (Steve Fuller was Chicago's quarterback, not Jim McMahon). The 49ers went on to win another Super Bowl, beating Miami.
Another connection: Manu Tuiasosopo was a starting defensive lineman for the 49ers. His son, Marques, will oppose BYU as Washington's interim coach in Friday's Fight Hunger Bowl at AT&T Park.
Oct. 17, 1989 • An earthquake struck San Francisco a half-hour before the scheduled start of Game 3 of the World Series. Giants pitcher Kelly Downs, from Viewmont High School, was pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, carrying his nephew off the field. Billy Kehl, then 11, and other players' relatives had come out of the stands to join the Giants after the earthquake.
The Series resumed 10 days later, with Oakland completing a four-game sweep. Downs, who had pitched well as a starter during the regular season, made three relief appearances in the Series.
Jan. 3, 1999 • The 49ers rallied to beat Green Bay 30-27 in an NFC wild-card game as Steve Young, a Salt Lake City native and former BYU quarterback, threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens with 3 seconds remaining. San Francisco drove 76 yards for the score, capped by a play titled "The Catch II" in honor of the Montana-to-Clark pass.
Jan. 14, 2012 • Former Utah quarterback Alex Smith threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 9 seconds remaining as the 49ers topped New Orleans 36-32 in an NFC divisional playoff game. Smith had run for a 28-yard go-ahead TD on San Francisco's previous drive, as each team scored two touchdowns in the final 4:02. The winning play resembled the Young-to-Owens pass, with Smith squeezing in the ball to Davis between defenders, just inside the end zone. Davis christened it "The Grab."
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