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49ers Fall Short in Preseason Finale; Five Takeaways from #LACvsSF

The San Francisco 49ers closed out their preseason slate with a win over the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi's® Stadium on Friday night. As expected, a majority of the team's projected starters made an appearance in the finale, playing through a large portion of the first quarter.

Here are five takeaways from #LACvsSF:

Both of San Francisco's kickers were unavailable against the Chargers.

Rookie Jake Moody and veteran Zane Gonzalez were both expected to have kicking opportunities in the preseason finale, and instead, were both ruled out due to injury. Moody was sidelined Friday morning due to a right quad strain sustained in practice earlier in the week. He is day-to-day.

Meanwhile, Gonzalez went through pregame warmups and was seen stretching prior to kickoff, but never entered the contest. He suffered a calf injury and was taken out of the lineup in the first quarter. Punter Mitch Wishnowsky took over kicking responsibilities and missed his one extra point attempt.

Quarterback Brock Purdy smoothly moved the first-team offense down the field.

The entire starting offense was on a pitch count, but once again took advantage of their limited reps to move steadily down the field in their two drives. Purdy went five-of-nine for 73 yards and ran in a five-yard touchdown to give San Francisco the early lead. He connected with four different pass catchers in those two series including fullback Kyle Juszczyk, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, running back Jordan Mason and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

San Francisco's ten-play, 74-yard opening drive ended with a goal line fumble, but the offense bounced back on the next possession. Purdy and the offense traveled 48 yards in eight plays, and the 49ers QB1 took it the rest of the way, turning the wheels on to run in the score from five yards out.

Quarterback Sam Darnold took the bulk of the quarterback reps on Friday and put together another solid outing under center.

Darnold replaced Purdy late in the first quarter and played through a majority of the third quarter. He went six-of-11 for 89 yards, a touchdown and 111.6 passer rating. The veteran flexed his elite throwing ability on a couple occasions, once on a deep ball down the right sideline to wide receiver Chris Conley for a 34-yard gain and then again in the second half, on a dart over the middle to wideout Willie Snead IV for a six-yard touchdown. That completion capped off a seven-play, 67-yard scoring drive and gave San Francisco the 12-10 advantage with 10:38 left in the third quarter.

San Francisco's preseason sack count reaches five.

The 49ers defense opened up with a quick three-and-out made possible by a sack by All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner on third-and-12 for a loss of ten yards. His participation in Friday night's matchup was more of a cameo as the veteran was subbed out by the next defensive series.

San Francisco's second sack of the night was a joint effort by linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles and defensive lineman Alex Barrett. Their takedown came early in the second quarter on third-and-six for Los Angeles and forced a punt.

The 49ers search for their return specialist continues.

Wide receiver Ronnie Bell got the first go at return specialist duties on Friday but was one of several players to get the opportunity to field punt and kick returns. Cornerbacks D'Shawn Jamison and Samuel Womack III were subbed in along with wide receiver Anthony Miller.

Bell was the leading punt returner versus Los Angeles, running his first quarter punt return back for 16 yards. Meanwhile, Jamison led in kick returns racking up 32 yards on a second half return.

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