Swain's Big Night Not Enough for Chargers

Midshipman scores but the Chargers lose their preseason finale

With all the talk about Colin Kaepernick and the Star Spangled Banner and Old Glory and protests and rights and the essence of America … it seemed all too fitting that a Navy kid had a nice game.

Former Midshipman Chris Swain, an undrafted rookie fullback, scored his first career NFL touchdown and made a tremendous block on another rushing score to help the Chargers build a 21-9 lead on the 49ers. Swain's performance came on the Chargers' 28th Salute to the Military night.

San Francisco, though, scored 15 unanswered points to win 31-21 in the final preseason game for both teams.

Kaepernick, who started and played the entire game, led the 49ers on an 85-yard touchdown drive to open the game. He finished with 103 yards passing and was San Francisco’s 2nd-leading rusher with 38 yards on four carries.

The Bolts took the lead in the second quarter. Kellen Clemens, starting at quarterback for Philip Rivers (who never saw the field), engineered an 18-play drive that went 76 yards and took nearly 10 minutes off the clock. On 3rd and goal from the two yard line offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt was determined to get the Navy officer in the end zone.

Whisenhunt sent in another fullback, fellow rookie Derek Watt, to block for Swain. The Chargers lined up a combined 483 pounds of running back in an I-formation and Swain flew in to the end zone to give the Bolts a 7-6 lead. San Francisco kicked a field goal at the end of the half and led 9-7 at the break.

In the 3rd quarter another rookie running back staked his claim to a roster spot. Kenneth Farrow, who went undrafted out of Houston, took off on a 44-yard run then scored from the six with help from Swain, who eliminated a 49ers linebacker with a great block. Farrow finished with 63 yards on seven carries.

On their next possession undrafted rookie quarterback Mike Bercovici found wideout Isaiah Burse over the middle for a 16-yard score that put the Bolts up by 12. Burse, another guy making a late case for a roster spot, caught five balls for 63 yards.

After that things unraveled for the Bolts. Bercovici turned the ball over twice, once on a fumble and once on an interception, in the final five minutes of the game. San Francisco turned both turnovers in to touchdowns to put the game away.

The Chargers finish the exhibition season 1-3. They open the regular season in Kansas City against the Chiefs on Sunday, September 11. The Bolts will finalize their 53-man roster this weekend.

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