10:00 PM ET, August 26, 2005
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Thomas Herrion still was in the San Francisco 49ers' hearts, and his number was on the backs of their helmets when they went back to work.Joe Nedney kicked three field goals against his former Tennessee teammates, including the winning 24-yarder with 2:09 left in overtime, and the 49ers beat the Titans 16-13 Friday night in San Francisco's first game since Herrion's death. Maurice Hicks atoned for a fumble late in regulation with 44 total yards on the 49ers' winning 80-yard drive led by No. 1 draft pick Alex Smith -- but the result meant even less than usual in the meaningless preseason. Six days after Herrion collapsed in the locker room and died following a game in Denver, the Niners returned to the field in a fairly somber mood, judging by the pregame warmups. Candlestick Park was subdued before the game, partly because the stadium was only half-full. "It was real emotional," said Tim Rattay, who passed for 131 yards. "We really thought about him, and when we kneeled down after the game, it really hit me again. It meant a lot to get this win." The Niners stayed in the locker room while the club presented a video tribute to Herrion on the scoreboard, followed by a moment of silence. The team wore black, football-shaped decals bearing Herrion's No. 72 on the backs of their helmets. "It was intense," right tackle Kwame Harris said. "We wanted to make sure that the events of last week were not forgotten, and that we are playing for Thomas."
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The 49ers paid tribute to Thomas Herrion on during an exhibition game six days after he died.
Tennessee S Tank Williams and WR Tyrone Calico both played for the first time since knee surgery last year. ... The 49ers used fourth QB Cody Pickett as a special-teams blocker on kick returns. "I want to keep all the good football players we have," coach Mike Nolan said. "I'm trying to look for a way to keep him any way I can."
Team Stat Comparison
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.0||4.1|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|TD||7:41||KEVAN BARLOW 10 YD RUN (JOE NEDNEY KICK)||0||7|
|FG||2:52||ROB BIRONAS 44 YD||3||7|
|FG||14:38||JOE NEDNEY 39 YD||3||10|
|FG||6:34||JOE NEDNEY 23 YD||3||13|
|TD||14:43||COURTNEY ROBY 45 YD PASS FROM BILLY VOLEK (ROB BIRONAS KICK)||10||13|
|FG||13:13||ROB BIRONAS 24 YD||13||13|
|FG||12:51||JOE NEDNEY 24 YD||13||16|