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Craig Dahl, 49ers Special Teams Execute Fake Punt

Posted Oct 5, 2014

Brad Seely called for it, Jim Harbaugh approved it and Dahl and the special teams crew executed the trick play to perfection.

The 49ers didn't win because Craig Dahl ran straight ahead for three yards on Sunday.

But it sure helped.

San Francisco's safety-turned-special teamer converted a fourth-quarter 4th-and-one to help his team come from behind to beat the visiting Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon.

With the 49ers down 17-16 and almost 14 minutes remaining in the final period, Jim Harbaugh approved a special teams coach Brad Seely trick play, calling for long snapper Kyle Nelson would hike the ball into Dahl's hands.

"We practiced it all week. Brad checked to see if we could do it. I said, ‘Go for it,'" Harbaugh said of his pre-play sideline chat with Seely. "It would have been called off if we didn’t have the right look.”

Fullback Bruce Miller, who was in the backfield with Dahl, added: “We were looking for the right look. Craig did a great job of receiving the football then getting up the field and not wasting any time. We were able to pick up a huge first down.”

With the new set of downs, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Co. marched down field toward a 27-yard field goal.

“It’s a great feeling that you’ve extended a drive for our offense, and it turned out to be a key drive in the game," Dahl said. "Had we not gotten it, it would have been almost disastrous for our team. You just have to execute in pressure situations like that and make a big play for the team when we needed one.”

Dahl, an option-quarterback in high school who has been a part of other special teams fakes in his eight NFL seasons, said that he knew the play would go off without a hitch.

“I hate to get into the details of it to give away our game plan, but they showed a light box, and no one was in the right 'A' gap and Kyle made a great snap to me, and I just put my head down and went for one yard.

"It’s one thing where you have to have ice in your veins in those pressure situations and just execute. It’s real easy, catch the ball and run and protect it when you have it in your hands.”

Here is what the Chiefs said about the fake punt:

Head coach Andy Reid: “They got us. Against this team you’ve got to be ready for all that stuff. They got us on that one and they got it done. They were able to move us out of the way to get the first.”

Linebacker Josh Mauga: “Those are the types of things that we have to be aware of. We have to stay on our toes. This is the NFL and anything can happen. We will look at the film, see how it was and clean it up.”

Safety Husain Abdullah: “It was just a game where you have to play perfect. We knew that they were a tough physical football team. They lined up and said that they were going to hit you in the mouth and that is exactly what they did. Again, we have to go back, watch the film, get the corrections and get better.”


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