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Super Bowl XVI Highlights

The 1981 season began with a "gold strike" of fresh talent that included rookies who earned instant starting assignments -- cornerbacks Ronnie Lott and Eric Wright and safety Carlton Williamson.

"We were fortunate to have George Seifert as our backfield coach," Lott has said. "George was a no-nonsense kind of coach. He really got the most out of us. He might have pushed us when we didn't want to be pushed, but I have to attribute a lot of our success that year to him."

The new talent helped transform the Niners from a 6-10 team in 1980 into a 13-3 team in 1981, when they compiled the best record in the NFL and earned their first Super Bowl berth.

Super Bowl XVI is memorable for a third-quarter goal-line stand, but the 49ers' defense kept the Bengals out of the end zone at other key times during each quarter:

The 49ers fumbled the opening kickoff, giving the Bengals the ball on the 49ers' 26 yard line. The Bengals advanced and had a second-and-goal from the 5. But Ken Anderson was sacked, and on the third-and-11 play, Dwight Hicks intercepted the ball. The 49ers converted the turnover into a touchdown.

The second quarter also opened with a Bengals drive, but Eric Wright tackled and stripped Cris Collinsworth of the football, which the 49ers recovered at their own 8. They marched 92 yards for another touchdown.

The 49ers' famous goal-line stand unfolded in the third quarter like this: On first and goal from the three, 249-pound fullback Pete Johnson barreled straight ahead for two yards. On second down, he tried going over left guard, but was stopped for no gain. On third down, Ken Anderson passed to Charles Alexander in the right flat, but linebacker Dan Bunz grabbed Alexander before he could reach the goal line and hurled him backward. On fourth down, the Bengals tried running Pete Johnson again, but the 49ers stopped him.

In the fourth quarter, with the score 23-14 and 5:25 remaining, the Bengals had the ball, but Eric Wright intercepted a Ken Anderson pass and returned it to the Cincinnati 22.

George Seifert,
defensive
secondary coach

Super Bowl XVI
Jan. 24, 1982
Pontiac Silverdome
Attendance: 81,270
MVP: Joe Montana


Game coverage:

Philadelphia
Daily News:
"49ers Stand Tall"

The Sporting News:
"49ers Strike It Rich"

1981 San Francisco 49ers Roster

No. Name               Pos.   Ht.  Wt.   Birthdate  Exp  College

61  Audick, Dan          T   6-3   253   11/15/54    4   Hawaii
68  Ayers, John          G   6-5   260   4/14/53     5   West Texas St.
 7  Benjamin, Guy       QB   6-3   210   6/27/55     4   Stanford
76  Board, Dwaine       DE   6-5   250   11/29/56    3   N. Carolina A&T
57  Bunz,Dan            LB   6-4   225   10/7/55     4   Long Beach St.
60  Choma, John        G-T   6-6   261   2/9/55      1   Virginia
87  Clark, Dwight       WR   6-4   210   1/8/57      3   Clemson
49  Cooper, Earl        RB   6-2   227   9/17/57     2   Rice
51  Cross, Randy         G   6-3   250   4/25/54     6   UCLA
38  Davis, Johnny       RB   6-1   235   7/17/56     4   Alabama
74  Dean, Fred          DE   6-2   230   2/28/52     7   Louisiana Tech
62  Downing, Walt      C-G   6-3   254   6/11/56     4   Michigan
31  Easley, Walt        RB   6-1   226   9/8/57      R   West Virginia
35  Elliott, Lenvil     RB   6-0   210   9/2/51      9   NE Missouri St.
71  Fahnhorst, Keith     T   6-6   263   2/6/52      8   Minnesota
24  Gervais, Rick        S   5-11  190   11/4/59     R   Stanford
59  Harper, Willie      LB   6-2   215   7/30/50     8   Nebraska
75  Harty, John         NT   6-4   253   12/17/58    R   Iowa
22  Hicks, Dwight        S   6-1   189   4/5/56      3   Michigan
66  Kennedy, Allan       T   6-7   245   1/8/58      R   Washington St.
20  Lawrence, Amos      RB   5-10  179   1/9/58      R   North Carolina
52  Leopold, Bobby      LB   6-1   215   10/18/57    2   Notre Dame
42  Lott, Ronnie        CB   6-0   199   5/8/59      R   USC
29  Martin, Saladin     CB   6-1   180   1/17/56     2   San Diego State
53  McColl, Milt        LB   6-6   220   8/28/59     R   Stanford
 3  Miller, Jim          P   5-11  183   7/5/57      2   Mississippi
16  Montana, Joe        QB   6-2   200   6/11/56     3   Notre Dame
32  Patton, Ricky       RB   5-11  192   4/6/54      4   Jackson State
65  Pillers, Lawrence   DE   6-4   260   11/4/52     6   Alcorn A&M
54  Puki, Craig         LB   6-1   231   1/18/57     2   Tennessee
56  Quillan, Fred        C   6-5   260   1/27/56     4   Oregon
80  Ramson, Eason       TE   6-2   234   4/30/56     3   Washington St.
78  Reese, Archie       NT   6-3   262   2/4/56      4   Clemson
64  Reynolds, Jack      LB   6-1   232   11/22/47   12   Tennessee
30  Ring, Bill       RB-KR   5-10  215   12/13/56    1   Brigham Young
84  Shumann, Mike       WR   6-0   175   10/13/55    4   Florida State
88  Solomon, Freddie WR-KR   5-11  185   1/11/53     7   Tampa
79  Stuckey, Jim        DE   6-4   251   6/21/58     2   Clemson
28  Thomas, Lynn        CB   5-11  181   7/9/59      R   Pittsburgh
58  Turner, Keena       LB   6-2   219   10/22/58    2   Purdue
14  Wersching, Ray       K   5-11  210   8/21/50     9   California
27  Williamson, Carlton  S   6-0   204   6/12/58     R   Pittsburgh
85  Wilson, Mike        WR   6-3   210   12/19/58    R   Washington St.
21  Wright, Eric        CB   6-1   180   4/18/59     R   Missouri
86  Young, Charle       TE   6-4   234   2/5/51      9   USC

 

 

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