Late Score Lifts 9’ers to 20-17 Win over Cards

Shawnate Spener celebrates the game clinching pick

Arnaz Battle scored untouched from a yard out with 22 seconds left to lift the 49’ers to a 20-17 season-opening win over the Cardinals at Monster Park.  Battle fumbled a 22-yard reception into the end zone, but Arizona failed to pounce on the loose ball and San Francisco recovered to set up a first down on the one-yard line.  Alex Smith had a key 25-yard scramble on 4th-and-1 during the winning drive and finished with 126 yards passing for San Francisco.  Frank Gore added 55 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the ‘Niners, who wore 1981 throwback uniforms to honor late Hall of Fame coach Bill Walsh.  Matt Leinart threw for 102 yards and a touchdown, but was also intercepted twice.  Edgerin James racked up 92 yards and a TD on the ground.  The loss spoiled the debut of new head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

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