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Gore, Dawson spoil Smith's return to San Francisco

Oct 6, 2014 - 2:11 AM Santa Clara, CA ( - Phil Dawson made five field goals and the 49ers spoiled Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith's return to San Francisco with a 22-17 victory.

Trailing by five, Smith and the Chiefs started from their own 20 with 2:12 left and no timeouts. Perrish Cox prevented Smith from leading Kansas City down the field for a game-winning score, as he picked off the 2005 No. 1 overall pick.

Smith was San Francisco's starting quarterback until he suffered a concussion in a game against St. Louis in Week 10 of the 2012 season. Colin Kaepernick won the starting job from there, and Smith was traded to the Chiefs the following offseason.

Kaepernick completed 14-of-26 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown for the 49ers (3-2), who have won two in a row. The Nevada product has recorded at least one touchdown pass in 12 straight games.

Frank Gore carried the ball 18 times for 107 yards for San Francisco.

Rumors continue to swirl about the relationship between 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his players.

"It's my job to love them, those players, those coaches, everybody in our organization," said Harbaugh. "It's their job to love each other. They don't need to respond in any other way in their job. The football team has done good, and the better you do, the more you do, the more people try to trip you up."

Smith connected on 17-of-31 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns for the Chiefs (2-3), who had a two-game winning streak snapped.

"It's tough, you're competitive, you want to win the game," said Smith. "Some of those guys I played a long time with."

Jamaal Charles carried the ball 15 times for 80 yards. He moved into second place on the Chiefs' all-time rushing list behind Priest Holmes. Charles can pass Holmes with 53 yards in Kansas City's next game on Oct. 19 against the Chargers in San Diego.

Down 17-16, the 49ers started from their own 20 with 37 seconds left in the third quarter. San Francisco used a fake punt to keep the drive alive, as Craig Dahl took a direct snap and ran for three yards on 4th-and-1. Brandon Lloyd followed with a 29-yard leaping catch, Gore ripped off a 14-yard run and Dawson made a 27-yard field goal with 8:42 to play.

The 13-play drive took almost seven minutes off the clock.

After Kansas City went three-and-out, San Francisco put together a 14-play, 56-yard drive. Dawson was on the field for another field goal when the Chiefs were called for 12 men on the field. The gift-wrapped first down allowed the 49ers to take more time off the clock before Dawson made a 30-yard field goal with 2:12 left.

San Francisco's defense then came up big in crunch time for the second straight week, and the Niners successfully ran out the clock after Cox's interception.

The Chiefs got the ball to start the game and went 81 yards in 12 plays. Smith converted a trio of third downs on the drive, hitting Anthony Fasano for 13 yards to convert a 3rd-and-1, then finding Junior Hemingway for 10 yards on 3rd-and-3. Finally, Smith connected with Travis Kelce for a 2-yard score on 3rd-and-goal.

Dawson responded with a 31-yard field goal on the ensuing San Francisco possession. Anquan Boldin's 18-yard catch helped set up the kick.

Kansas City followed with a 14-play, 63-yard drive that Cairo Santos capped with a 42-yard field goal. On the ensuing 49ers possession, Lloyd caught a 38- yard pass before Dawson made a 55-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-6.

The first punt of the game came with 7:18 left in the first half, starting Kaepernick and the 49ers from their own 7. Boldin and Bruce Miller caught passes of 27 and 10 yards, respectively, to move the ball to the Kansas City 40.

After Gore converted a 3rd-and-1, Kaepernick hooked up with Steve Johnson for a 9-yard score. to give San Francisco a 13-10 lead at the half.

After the 49ers went three-and-out to start the second half, De'Anthony Thomas returned a punt 28 yards to the Kansas City 42. Charles added a 26-yard run and Dwayne Bowe caught a 15-yard pass to move the ball to the San Francisco 17. Smith then found Thomas in the flat and the Oregon product raced down the left sideline for his first career touchdown.

"We weren't exactly sure how much we'd get out of him just from the setbacks that he's had," said Chiefs coach Andy Reid of Thomas. "I thought he did a nice job when given the opportunity to make plays for us."

San Francisco moved the ball to the Kansas City 20 before a pair of sacks killed the drive. Dawson made a 52-yard field goal to get the 49ers within 17-16.

Game Notes

San Francisco was without tight end Vernon Davis (back) and offensive tackle Anthony Davis (knee) ... Thomas made his NFL debut ... Lloyd caught three passes for 76 yards and Boldin hauled in four passes for 72 yards.