View select images from the San Francisco 49ers final exhibition tuneup before the 2015 regular season.
Neither Anquan Boldin nor Torrey Smith played on Thursday evening, so the battle for the No. 3 wide receiver job didn't have to wait for the top two guys to get their reps.
From the onset of Week 4 preseason finale, the likes of Bruce Ellington, Quinton Patton and DeAndrew White were given every opportunity to show the coaching staff what they have to offer.
And man did they deliver.
The San Francisco 49ers put a bow on the exhibition season with a 14-12 home victory over the San Diego Chargers at Levi's® Stadium.
Ellington amassed 151 all-purpose yards and showed off his top-tier speed on a 70-yard touchdown. Patton muscled away a ball in the end zone for a two-point conversion and contributed with several blocks to spring his teammates. And White totaled 173 all-purpose yards, including in three receptions for 77 yards. Two of White's catches came on deep, back-shoulder throws in tight coverage.
The pass-catching cupboard isn't bare behind Boldin and Smith, the reserves made that clear with their performances against the Chargers.
In case you missed Thursday's contest, catch up on what else transpired in the victory below.
Play of the Game
It only took three plays for the night's most memorable moment to occur.
Following a pair of short runs on the first two plays from scrimmage, the 49ers faced a 3rd-and-5 from their own 30-yard line.
Dylan Thompson, starting as Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert got the night off, fired a perfect pass to hit Ellington in stride on a slant route over the middle of the field.
As eluded to above, Ellington did the rest, putting on the burners and racing to the end zone for a 70-yard score. About 60 of those yards came after the catch.
Ellington, who missed the first few weeks of August with a nagging hamstring injury, certainly looked like he was back to full speed as he pulled away from the Chargers secondary.
The highlight-reel touchdown also marked a reunion of sorts, as Thompson and Ellington were college teammates at South Carolina.
Ellington's long catch-and-run put the 49ers on the board first. The offense then converted its first two-point attempt since the offseason rule change pushed the PAT back to the 15-yard line. Thompson hit Patton with a quick, comeback pass in the end zone to go ahead early, 8-0.
In the second quarter, the Chargers answered back when Crawford intercepted of a Thompson pass intended for White and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown. San Diego, however, failed to convert on its two-point attempt, keeping San Francisco ahead, 8-6.
The two teams traded punts through halftime and the third quarter until the 49ers added to their lead early in the final period. With just over 11 minutes remaining in the fourth, Thompson threw a beautiful back-shoulder pass to another of his college teammates, Busta Anderson, for a 16-yard touchdown. The seventh-round pick reached up and over Crawford to make the grab in the corner of the end zone. San Diego stopped San Francisco on its second two-point attempt to leave the score at 14-6.
As they did in the first half, the Chargers responded quickly when Tyrell Williams recorded a 63-yard touchdown pass to cut into the deficit. Philip Wheeler prevented a tie on the ensuing two-point attempt by sacking the quarterback.
– Tony Jerod-Eddie got first-half reps at outside linebacker. Throughout his three-year NFL career-, Jerod-Eddie has been a defensive tackle for the 49ers. He finished the game with three tackles.
– Mike Davis and Kendall Hunter showed well as San Francisco's lead running back tandem. Davis carried the seven times for 33 yards while Hunter rushed 10 times for 21 yards and caught three passes for 13 yards. Davis' best run, an 11-yard gain, featured a strong stiff arm of Charges second-round pick Denzel Perryman.
– In his final audition to continue his NFL dream, Jarryd Hayne carried the ball 10 times for a team-high 58 yards. He also caught two passes for 17 yards, returned two punts for 15 yards and added a nice tackle on special teams by beating a double team as gunner. The Australian saved his most physical play of the preseason for last, pancaking a Chargers defender into the ground with a lowered shoulder at the end of a short receiving gain.
– Thompson played the entire game at quarterback and performed quite well. The undrafted free agent signal-caller finished his evening 17-of-25 passing for 225 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Those numbers were good enough for a 106.2 passer rating.
– Marcus Cromartie sealed the 49ers win with an intercepted as the Chargers were running a two-minute drill to potentially win the game.
The 49ers have an 11-day layoff before they return to the field for a showdown with Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings on "Monday Night Football." That Sept. 14 matchup, of course, represents San Francisco's 2015 regular season opener and the beginning of the Jim Tomsula era. Before that, however, the team will have to trim its roster down to 53 players by the 1 p.m. PT deadline on Saturday. Which players will make the final cut? Stay tuned to 49ers.com for the latest news.