Buccaneers
49ers
19 - 21 Final
  for this game

Hill leads 49ers past Buccaneers

Dec 24, 2007 - 1:48 AM By Tom Kent PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) - Shaun Hill is making his bid to be the San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback next season.

Hill threw for 123 yards and three touchdowns as the 49ers held on to defeat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21-19, on Sunday.

Tampa Bay (9-6), which entered the contest having already clinched the NFC South, is locked in to the fourth seed for the NFC playoffs.

"It was tough sledding out there," Hill said. "We were able to get some points on the board, but the defense and special teams set up most of our scoring. As an offense we didn't execute - I know I missed some throws - but it's gratifying get the win when you don't play you best."

The career backup, who played with the Minnesota Vikings for four seasons before signing with the 49ers last year, was fresh off his first career start in last week's 20-13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. Hill threw for 197 yards and a score and ran for one.

Hill was named the starting quarterback for the rest of the season after 2005 first-round pick Alex Smith and veteran backup Trent Dilfer were lost to injuries.

San Francisco coach Mike Nolan already conceded that Hill will compete for the starting job next season.

"Competition makes great football teams," NNolan said. "You want competition at every posistion, and obviously Shaun has played well enough these past few weeks to compete for the starting job."

Next week, the 49ers visit the Cleveland Browns, who are battling the Tennessee Titans for the final playoff slot in the AFC

"I'll worry about next season - next season," Hill said. "We still have a tough game left against Cleveland and that's what I'm worrying about now. I'm just trying to earn the right to play next week."

With the 49ers trailing, 13-7, early in the third quarter, rookie linebacker Patrick Willis sacked Bucs backup quarterback Luke McCown and forced a turnover.

Hill sat out a play after taking a late hit from Tampa Bay rookie defensive end Gaines Adams and then hit tight end Vernon Davis with a 5-yard touchdown pass to give the 49ers (5-10) a 14-13 edge.

"These last few weeks we've been able to go out there and give it everything we got," Willis said. "Everyone is just doing there best now. We want to play hard and keep some momentum going into next season."

Early in the fourth quarter, 49ers cornerback Nate Clements set up San Francisco's next score by intercepting McCown's pass and returning it 62 yards to the Tampa Bay 23-yard line.

Hill then connected with running back Frank Gore on a 23-yard scoring strike to make it 21-13.

The Buccaneers (9-6) pulled within 21-19 on a 24-yard TD pass from McCown to tight end Jerramy Stevens with 1:25 left. But McCown's two-point conversion pass failed when wide receiver Michael Clayton failed to get both feet down in the back of the end zone.

Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia, who played for San Francisco from 1999 to 2003 and led the team to three playoff appearances while earning Pro Bowl honors three times, threw for 196 yards and a score before leaving the game shortly before the first half.

"What we wanted to do today was give some work in the first half," Bucs coach John Gruden said. "I also wanted to take this opportunity to evaluate some of our other players. We're glad we did that, and it will be a similar situation next week."

The 37-year-old Garcia, who also played his college ball at nearby San Jose State, was released by San Francisco after the 2003 campaign, which was the last season the 49ers reached the playoffs.

"It was exciting to be back here," Garcia said. "It was something I was looking forward to. I'm thankful for the five years that I had here and it was nice to see my family here as well supporting my team."

Tampa Bay took advantage of a San Francisco mistake late in the first half. With the Bucs trailing, 7-6, safety Jermaine Phillips wrestled the ball away from Davis in San Francisco territory.

Linebacker Barrett Ruud recovered the fumble, and four plays later Garcia connected with Stevens for a 24-yard score to give Tampa Bay a 13-7 lead.

Gore rushed 21 times for 89 yards and also caught four passes for 43 yards.






  • 128
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  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 6 7 0 6 19
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 7 7 7 21 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 34 YD, 6:51. Drive: 10
    plays, 64 yards in 5:08. Key plays:
    Garcia 11-yard pass to Smith to
    Tampa Bay 37, Graham 10-yard run to
    Tampa Bay 37, Garcia 26-yard pass
    to Hilla

    Dec 23 7:27 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    JERRAMY STEVENS 24 YD PASS FROM LUKE MCCOWN
    (TWO-POINT PASS CONVERSION FAILED)
    TAMPA BAY 19
    SAN FRANCISCO 21 1:20 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 7:23 PM
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    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 7:06 PM


  • NFL
    TD SFO
    FRANK GORE 23 YD PASS FROM JASON HILL
    (JOE NEDNEY KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 13
    SAN FRANCISCO 21 14:11 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 6:43 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 6 7 0 13
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 7 7 14 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 34 YD, 6:51. Drive: 10
    plays, 64 yards in 5:08. Key plays:
    Garcia 11-yard pass to Smith to
    Tampa Bay 37, Graham 10-yard run to
    Tampa Bay 37, Garcia 26-yard pass
    t

    Dec 23 6:38 PM


  • NFL
    TD SFO
    VERNON DAVIS 5 YD PASS FROM SHAUN HILL
    (JOE NEDNEY KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 13
    SAN FRANCISCO 14 9:30 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 6:08 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 6 7 13
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 7 7 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 34 YD, 6:51. Drive: 10
    plays, 64 yards in 5:08. Key plays:
    Garcia 11-yard pass to Smith to
    Tampa Bay 37, Graham 10-yard run to
    Tampa Bay 37, Garcia 26-yard pass
    to Hi

    Dec 23 5:37 PM


  • NFL
    TD TAM
    JERRAMY STEVENS 24 YD PASS FROM JEFF GARCIA
    (MATT BRYANT KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 13
    SAN FRANCISCO 7 3:49 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 5:20 PM
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    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 5:16 PM


  • NFL
    TD SFO
    DARRELL JACKSON 21 YD PASS FROM JASON HILL
    (JOE NEDNEY KICK)
    TAMPA BAY 6
    SAN FRANCISCO 7 14:56 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 4:42 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    TAMPA BAY 6 6
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 0 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: TAM - FG, MATT BRYANT 34 YD, 6:51. Drive: 10
    plays, 64 yards in 5:08. Key plays:
    Garcia 11-yard pass to Smith to
    Tampa Bay 37, Graham 10-yard run to
    Tampa Bay 37, Garcia 26-yard pass
    t

    Dec 23 4:39 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 22 YD
    TAMPA BAY 6
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 2:36 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 4:33 PM


  • NFL
    FG TAM
    MATT BRYANT 34 YD
    TAMPA BAY 3
    SAN FRANCISCO 0 8:09 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Buccaneers vs. 49ersDec 23 4:18 PM
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