Monday, October 23, 1989


Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif -- The San Francisco 49ers hoped they had provided -- for at least a few hours -- some relief from the gloom caused by the earthquake.

''We felt like we had to give people something to be happy about, some kind of joy,'' 49ers nose tackle Michael Carter said Sunday. ''If football is it, that's OK with us.''

The 49ers ran their National Football League record to 6-1 with a 37-20 victory over New England as Steve Young replaced the injured Joe Montana late in the first half and threw three touchdown passes.

49ers owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. said he thought the game, switched from Candlestick Park to Stanford Stadium, was needed.

''We need the unifying situation, the common denominator,'' DeBartolo said.

A crowd estimated at 75,000 watched the first pro sports event played in the Bay area since Tuesday's devastating earthquake.

The Patriots (2-5) said they didn't think about the quake once the game began. But linebacker Ed Reynolds said: ''I don't think a lot of us were crazy about coming out here to play. There was a lot of death out here. I thought we came here out of respect for the fans.

''Any time there is a catastrophe like they had here, your mind is on it, but we were also getting an opportunity to play the champions, and any time you have that, you want to play.''

The Patriots' Mosi Tatupu said: ''It was kind of a weird atmosphere around here. It was kind of an awkward feeling having to come here to play a game. We just had to try to remember to win the game.''

San Francisco cen ter Jesse Sapolu said it was good to get back to work.

''You do your best to move on, even while you know people are still trapped under that freeway,'' he said.

n tc br Montana was carted off the field late in the first half after suffering a slight knee sprain. He jogged back to the sidelines in the fourth quarter, however, and team officials said he could have returned to the game, if needed.

Young, taking over for Montana, went 10 for 11 for 188 yards passing.

Wide receiver Jerry Rice caught two touchdown passes, a 3-yarder from Montana in the second quarter that tied the score 7-7 and a 50-yarder from Young in the third quarter that broke a 17-17 tie.

Steve Grogan, 36, replaced Doug Flutie as the Patriots' starting quarterback. Grogan threw touchdown passes of 55 and 19 yards to Stanley Morgan. The 19-yarder, midway through the third quarter, tied the game 17-17.

After Rice's second touchdown, Greg Davis kicked a 21-yard field goal midway in the fourth quarter to make it 24-20. But Young drove the 49ers downfield for the clinching touchdown, hitting John Taylor on a 43-yard scoring pass on third and 17 with 3:15 to play.