49ers beat Chargers behind two long TDs
Two long touchdowns by rookies in a two-minute stretch of the second quarter led the San Francisco 49ers to a 23-13 preseason win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night in Santa Clara, Calif.
Quarterback C.J. Beathard scored on a 62-yard scramble, and Victor Bolden Jr. took a punt return 92 yards for a TD.
Both the 49ers (2-2) and Chargers (1-3) rested numerous starters in the preseason finale. The 49ers held out more than 25 key players, including probable starting quarterback Brian Hoyer and first-round draft picks Solomon Thomas, the third overall selection, and Reuben Foster.
The Chargers kept the wraps on starting quarterback Philip Rivers, going with second-year man Cardale Jones, acquired roughly a month ago from the Buffalo Bills. Jones was 18 of 24 for 158 yards and a touchdown. He is trying to become second-teamer ahead of Kellen Clemens.
Jones, a star at Ohio State, said earlier in the week he was learning his third offense in the past season and a half.
Beathard, a third-round pick from Iowa, seemingly had earned San Francisco’s backup position, and his stats didn’t hurt his chances. He was 5 of 9 for 31 yards passing and 80 yards rushing, including his dash for the touchdown with 8:44 left in the first half. Matt Barkley was listed as No. 2.
That Beathard run was followed a few plays later by the return from Bolden, a free agent wide receiver from Oregon State who two weeks ago against Denver had a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Los Angeles was hurt by three first-half turnovers, one of which, a fumble lost on its own 8, led to the 49ers’ third touchdown of the second quarter. The Chargers had two more after halftime
The Chargers totaled 304 yards for the game and the 49ers 266.
Temperature at kickoff was in the 80s, which may be reason there were thousands of empty seats at Levi’s Stadium.