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Williams, Walker Catch TDs

Posted Sep 18, 2011



With a loss as tough as Sunday’s, perhaps it would be hard to find a silver lining for the 49ers. But moments after his team’s 27-24 overtime defeat against the visiting Dallas Cowboys, coach Jim Harbaugh repeatedly said his team played well enough to win.

Ultimately, San Francisco came up short, but it doesn’t diminish the contributions of players like Kyle Williams and Delanie Walker, who each hauled in touchdowns during the contest. Still, nothing could sway the mood in the locker room after the game.

“You get an ‘L’, the touchdowns don’t even matter anymore,” Walker said. “None of the touchdowns anybody have matter. We lost and that’s how we look at it. Don’t celebrate something if you don’t come away with the ‘W.’”

The 49ers were dealt a blow before the coin was even tossed at midfield, as receiver Michael Crabtree was declared inactive due to injured feet. Minutes into the first quarter, Braylon Edwards also left the game due to injury and never returned.

With the 49ers down to three wideouts on the 46-man active roster for gameday, Williams was pressed into duty after being inactive for the season opener. The second-year reserve didn’t disappoint. With 6:23 left in the first half, Williams hauled in a highlight reel touchdown, tip-toeing his feet to stay in bounds as he twisted to the ground with the ball firmly gripped in his left hand.

The 12-yard throw from quarterback Alex Smith marked the first touchdown of Williams’ career and the team’s first passing touchdown of 2011.

“To be honest,” Williams said, “The loss definitely put a damper on things. Especially, you want one of those moments to come in a win, but it didn’t happen that way. We just got to get back in the classroom and improve on the things we messed up on.”

Williams’ catch gave the 49ers a 14-0 lead, their biggest of the game, but the Cowboys responded with 14 unanswered points of their own. San Francisco would reclaim the lead with 37 seconds left in the third quarter when Walker hauled in a catch and waltzed down the right sideline for a 29-yard touchdown. The 49ers tight end would even jump into the arms of some nearby fans to celebrate, but the 49ers weren’t able to celebrate much more, as they were outscored 13-3 the rest of the way.

Statistically, the 49ers passing game didn’t suffer despite losing two of its top contributors.

Smith finished 16-of-24 for 179 yards, 55 more than he tossed in Week 1. Smith made completions to seven different receivers on the afternoon, with Ted Ginn Jr., hauling in a team-high four catches for 38 yards. Joshua Morgan added three catches for 35 yards while Walker finished with two receptions and 38 yards.

“You never want to lose one of your top guys like that,” Williams said about Edwards. “As far as for the team, I think we responded well. We’d like to think there was no drop off at the receiver position, we came out there and made plays. We just have to finish.”

Though the 49ers offense was humming early, it struggled to find its footing in the second half. San Francisco amassed just 67 yards after the intermission and turned in a futile five-play drive to start overtime before punting the ball away. The 49ers were finished two plays later, as the Cowboys converted a 77-yard pass play that set up a game-winning field goal.

“We just have to finish,” Walker said. “That’s tough when you start off real good, start off fast and put points on the board. But the key to all this is finishing. We’ll come in next week and keep on working.”