The Final 49: Game On

By Tom Whitestone

There was tailgating.  There were ovations.  There was the Uh-Huh Guy.

No, this wasn't the first scrimmage the 49ers have had -- they've ended practices with scrimmage activities on several Saturdays.

But this was the first set of scrimmage activities on the Stadium turf -- and 1500 Niner Nation fans turned out to watch. The practice started the same as usual -- stretching drills, position drills, some skelly.

But then the 49ers offense lined up against the 49ers defense.  Officials blew a whistle.  And it was Game On.

Running back Alan Barnwell ran for four hard yards on the first play -- as Niner Nation sat back under the splendid Saturday sun, and watched college football -- Charlotte 49ers college football.

Mark Pettit, a 6-6 outside linebacker from Greensboro, recorded the first sack.  6-3 nosetackle Larry Ogunjobi had a crushing tackle on receiver Corey Nesmith, Jr.  And receiver Austin Duke raced 58 yards on an end around.

And the crowd cheered.

At 2:10, Ja'quil Capel took a 19-yard pass to the one-yard line.  At 2:11, Barnwell burst through the line and into the endzone. 

It wasn't the first touchdown the 49ers had scored in their scrimmages, but for those on hand to watch the plunge, seeing a 49er break into the "Charlotte" logoed endzone was the absolute opposite of deja vu.  This was something they hadn't seen before.

The game continued.  Barnwell finished with 20 rushes for 75 yards and that TD.  Three 49ers quarterbacks combined for 253 yards passing - 134 of which went to Capel.  The defense recorded four sacks, two from Pettit.  Ogunjobi led the D with 7 tackles, including two for loss.  Kariym Gent pulled in an interception. 

And when the scrimmage was over and the team gathered in the endzone before the practice-ending windsprints, a man in the crowd yelled out.

"You're making history, guys."

Game On.


THE FINAL 49:  During The Final 49 weeks till Kickoff 2013, we take a weekly look at various aspects of the football program.