By: Malaika Bobino
San Francisco, CA - Nothing seemed different, the Forty-Niners got the win and continue to get better. The last time the lights were lit at Candlestick Park was a cold rainy night when the New York Giants won the NFC Championship game and later won the Super Bowl.
Tonight, the Niners are back to start a new season with a few additions to the roster. They beat the Minnesota Vikings in the exhibition opener 17-6. The past is behind them and the goal this year is to win the Super Bowl. Off to a great start the team rushed for 200 yards in the first half.
Alex Smith led a eight-play drive which ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Brett Swain. In eight minutes he completed 16 passing yards on a 12-play, with a 84-yard opening drive. Nothing unexpected from the first string.
“We ran the ball really well that opening drive and all game,” said Smith. “Anytime you can do that it makes our jobs a lot easier.”
The excitement came when back-up quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 78-yard touchdown brought the fans to their feet. After faking a handoff to LaMichael James, Kaepernick rushed untouched to the end-zone in the second quarter.
“Our offensive line did a great job blocking the box,” Colin said. “Our receivers blocked the corner, our tight-end got up to a safety which left me with a lot of green grass.”
San Francisco’s offense looked pretty good with Kendall Hunter starting in place of Frank Gore, Rock Cartwright and Brandon Jacobs all getting time. They combined for 69 yards rushing on the first drive. Michael Crabtree appeared in his first exhibition game in his four year career. He had a 3-yard catch in the game.
“I’m enjoying my time here and still adjusting,” Cartwright said. “It’s a great group of guys here, great coaching staff. We went over this game plan a lot and we came ready to play.”
The Minnesota Vikings wasted no time moving the ball down the field in the first quarter. Christian Ponder’s 52-yard pass to Stephen Burton was an a great start but they were unable to get into the end-zone and settled for two field goals.
“We would have liked to have come out with touchdowns rather than two field goals,” said Ponder. “But it was a pretty good start. There were a lot of positives. We moved the ball well against a really good defense.”