September 6, 1994

RICE RECORD ELIMINATES
DISTRACTION, RAIDERS

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a win in hand, tying one of the NFL's longest-standing records Monday night was enough for Jerry Rice. But the San Francisco 49ers' coaches had other ideas.

Rice, who went to the sideline to celebrate after tying Jim Brown's record for career touchdowns, was sent back out in the game's final minutes and broke the record with TD No. 127 as San Francisco routed the Los Angeles Raiders, 44-14.

"They told me they were going to give me one last shot, and I took advantage of it," Rice said.

Rice scored three times, the last a leaping 38-yard reception from Steve Young with 4:05 to play as Raiders defender Albert Lewis was shadowing him.

They were the first touchdowns by Rice in four games against the Raiders and moved him past Brown as the league's touchdown leader.

"I really just wanted to win this football game," said Rice, who nevertheless was relieved to get the record out of the way.

"I'm very fortunate," he said. "So many guys helped to put me in this position - Joe Montana, Steve Young, so many other quarterbacks, Harry Sydney," Rice said.

Sydney, a former running back, threw a scoring pass to Rice on an option play in 1987.

Lewis could only give credit to Rice's amazing ability. "I was too busy running to see the ball," Lewis said. "I lost the ball in the lights. It was underthrown, but he made a good adjustment to come back and get it and he held on to it. I don't know how he did that. He made a great catch and caught us sleeping."

With the game in hand late in the fourth period, Rice thought he was done for the night but was called back onto the field by his coaches.

With Rice's record in hand, the 49ers eliminated a potential distraction as they prepared to play Montana and the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time since Montana's 1992 departure from San Francisco, the team he took to four Super Bowls in the 1980s.

"It was George (Seifert's) call," said Young, who threw for four scores. "Hopefully, the Raiders will understand we wanted to do it at home.

"I think the whole team is proud of being a part of something that's really football history. I'm a little overwhelmed by the whole thing."

Rice finished with seven receptions for 169 yards.

"He's a great receiver and he made a lot of great plays. We weren't able to slow him down," Raiders coach Art Shell said.

Jim Brown had held the touchdown record since the running back retired from the Cleveland Browns in 1965.

Young was 19-for-32 for 308 yards and four touchdown passes, the first and last going to Rice.

Brent Jones caught Young's other touchdown passes, the second an 8-yarder on the first play of the fourth quarter.

San Francisco's new-look defense, which has seven new starters, also made an impressive debut, effectively preventing the Raiders' fleet corps of wide receivers from becoming much of a factor.

"They were determined not to let us go deep on them," Shell said. "They played their safeties deep and played people off the ball and forced us to throw underneath."

Rice's first touchdown and Doug Brien's first field goal helped San Francisco take a 23-14 halftime lead. Brien, who kicked a 33-yard field goal with three seconds left in the second quarter, also made a touchdown-saving tackle of Raghib Ismail to stop his first-quarter kickoff return at 51 yards.

Rice got his 125th career touchdown on the bomb from Young, streaking past Lionel Washington and Patrick Bates. He gathered in the pass about the 30, stumbled when Washington dived at his ankles but maintained his balance and raced the rest of the way into the end zone untouched for a 7-0 lead.

Jones scored on a 15-yard scoring pass to put San Francisco up 14-0.

A turnover opened the door for the Raiders to score. Terry McDaniel broke up a pass to John Taylor and linebacker Greg Biekert came up with the interception, returning it 11 yards to the San Francisco 30.

Hostetler converted the turnover seven plays later, when Tim Brown came open over the middle for a 7-yard scoring pass as the Raiders pulled within 14-7 with 9:44 left in the second quarter.

The Raiders' Napoleon McCallum dislocated his left knee midway through the third quarter when his leg was twisted as he was tackled.