American Football: Candlestick gives 49ers light relief
Published 21/12/2011 | 05:00
A pair of stadium power outages could not prevent the San Francisco 49ers from overcoming the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-3 on Monday in a gritty match-up between play-off bound teams.
The lights went out at Candlestick Park on two occasions, delaying the game's start for 20 minutes before again halting the action for about 15 minutes early in the second quarter. The blackouts, however, had little effect on the home side, who controlled the game from start to finish.
"It was unusual, you don't expect to deal with something like that -- let alone twice," said 49ers quarterback Alex Smith of the light issues. "It was a big game with two 10-win teams. This game was about respect."
San Francisco forced Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, playing through an ankle sprain, into two first-quarter interceptions to limit Pittsburgh's air attack and take a 6-0 half-time lead.
The 49ers squeezed the life out of the Steelers in the second half. Smith tossed a one-yard pass to Vernon Davis for a 13-3 third-quarter lead before Frank Gore capped a drive with a five-yard touchdown run with 9:10 left in the contest. San Francisco finished with just 287 total yards, but dictated the action to keep pace for a top NFC play-off seed.