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Frank Gore Knocks out Seattle with 51-yard Run

Posted Dec 8, 2013

Frank Gore provided the game-changing play against Seattle, a 51-yard run to set up the go-ahead field goal.

It was a prize fight between two Super Bowl contenders. So naturally, Frank Gore dressed for the occasion.

“I’ve got my fighting outfit on tonight,” San Francisco’s all-time leading rusher said on his way to the postgame podium.

Gore, a boxing enthusiast, delivered the knockout blow in a 19-17 win by the 49ers over the Seattle Seahawks.

With Seattle clinging to a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter, offensive coordinator Greg Roman called a play he’d never used before and Gore ripped off 51 yards to put San Francisco in position to eventually win the game on a 22-yard Phil Dawson field goal.

49ers 19 - Seahawks 17:
Game Story | Photos | Highlights

“We’ve never run it before,” Roman said of the cut-back run he playfully dubbed, “97 G-Ro.”

Gore "popped" a few key runs in the final matchup between the NFC West rivals at Candlestick Park. Hrushed 17 times for 110 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry. Gore's success has always been vital to his team. The 49ers are now 28-7 all-time when he surpasses the 100-yard mark.

The 51-yard sprint what put Gore over the century mark and added another intruiging layer to the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry.

Gore hadn't rushed for more than 50 yards in each of his past three games.

The 51-yard scramper was also Gore's longest rush of the season... by 17 yards.

“It was something we were keeping in the pocket at the right time,” Roman said after the 49ers prevented the Seahawks from clinching the NFC West title at Candlestick Park. “It’s all about timing.”

Gore’s run was not only timely, but it showed the hard-charging running back’s cerebral side. Once Gore took the hand-off from Colin Kaepernick, he purposely extended the play to the left side of the line and then cut-back against the grain to set up Seattle free safety Earl Thomas.

“He’s so fast to the ball, I knew he was going to over-run it,” Gore said.

San Francisco’s bell cow runner wasn’t done there. Knowing that the game was in its final moments and he could not reach the end zone, Gore fell to the ground before going out of bounds. Seattle had to use its final timeouts because Gore put the 49ers in field goal range and wisely kept the clock running.

Gore’s natural vision and football smarts were key in the game-changing play, but it was also a credit to the 11 players on the offense working together to help San Francisco beat Seattle, the NFC’s current No. 1 seed.

“It’s all about the players getting it done,” said Roman, who noted that the Seahawks crowd the line of scrimmage and tend to overload the side of the field with the most offensive personnel.

Harbaugh said the 49ers stayed “true” to the offense gameplan and didn’t back away from rushing the ball, even when they needed to drive down the field for a game-winning field goal.

Gore’s run was the highlight play of Sunday’s win over Seattle, but it was followed by another memorable play call from Roman.

With the 49ers facing a 3rd-and-7 from Seattle’s 15-yard line, the offensive play-caller dialed a quarterback run that was the same play he used in the 2011 NFC Divisional Playoff win over New Orleans.

Last time it was used, Alex Smith ran in for a touchdown. This time, however, Colin Kaepernick did not score, but was able to follow his blocks for an 8-yard gain and a first down. It helped the 49ers bleed even more clock.

“Did it remind you of anything?” Roman asked rhetorically.

The 49ers had two key blocks from wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Mario Manningham to help secure a perimeter running lane for Kaepernick. San Francisco’s quarterback dove head first to pick up the necessary yards before the two-minute warning.

Because of Roman’s timely decisions and the execution of his players, the 49ers were able to knock out a physical Seahawks team and make a statement to the NFL.

“Big win,” Gore said. “Tough game. Seattle’s a great team."

“It took all the playmakers to do something in this game.”

It took the play-caller, too.