Tuesday, December 18, 1990

NINERS GAIN REVENGE, HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE

Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers avenged their only loss of the season and secured the home-field advantage for the National Football League playoffs with a 26-10 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.

The 49ers raised their record to 13-1 and evened a score with the Rams, who stopped San Francisco's winning streak of 18 games with a 28-17 victory three weeks ago in Candlestick Park. The Rams fell to 5-9.

Dexter Carter closed out the San Francisco scoring with a 74-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

aht The 49ers had to settle for Mike Cofer's 31-yard kick and a 19-7 lead at 4 minutes 2 seconds of the third quarter after a 13-yard touchdown pass from Joe Montana to Jerry Rice was called back because of pass interference against Rice.

The drive was set up when Rams quarterback Jim Everett fumbled a snap, with linebacker Matt Millen recovering at the LA 42.

Mike Lansford kicked a 21-yard field goal with 3:30 left in the quarter to cut the lead to 19-10. Los Angeles benefited from three penalties against the 49ers during the 76-yard, 14-play drive, but failed to score after getting first and goal at the 6.

Cornerback Don Griffin intercepted Everett and returned it 45 yards, but Griffin was called for holding and the Rams regained possession at the San Francisco 16. An interference call against cornerback Darryl Pollard on third and 6 at the 14 gave the Rams first and goal.

The 49ers, whose only loss in 13 games came to the Rams on Nov. 25, dominated to the point that they did not have to punt until their seventh possession, late in the third quarter.

Montana hit Rice with a 60-yard bomb on the first play of San Francisco's fourth drive to give the 49ers a 16-0 lead. Rice, who hadn't scored in the previous four games, caught the ball at the Rams' 15 and dragged safety Anthony Newman the last few yards into the end zone 6:02 into the second quarter.

Just 2 1/2 minutes earlier, 49ers fullback Tom Rathman went over the top on fourth and goal from the 1. That score capped a 76-yard, 15-play drive that consumed 9:03. A bad snap led to a failed conversion.

After Rice's score, the 49ers had run 33 plays to only 14 for Los Angeles. But Everett finally got the Rams going, leading them on a 78-yard, 8-play drive. Rookie Derrick Faison scored his first National Football League touchdown when he caught an 8-yard pass from Everett with 1:32 left in the half.

Cofer's 63-yard field goal try was short as time expired.

The 49ers moved 71 yards to the Los Angeles 5 on their second drive, with Montana going five for five. Harry Sydney gained 3 yards on first down, but Montana threw two incomplete passes and San Francisco had to settle for Cofer's 23-yard field goal with 5:28 left in the first quarter.