Young's 6th sense: champion 49ers QB exorcises past, Chargers with record 6 TDs, 49-26

January 30, 1995|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Sun Staff Writer

MIAMI -- Steve Young, who spent much of his career chasing the super legend of Joe Montana, finally topped him last night.

Young threw six touchdown passes to break Montana's Super Bowl record of five while leading the San Francisco 49ers to a 49-26 victory over the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX before 74,107 fans at Joe Robbie Stadium.

Young also matched Doug Williams' Super Bowl record of four first-half touchdown passes.

Young's performance helped the 49ers become the first team to win five Super Bowls as the NFC collected its 11th straight victory.

Throwing touchdown passes of 44 yards to Jerry Rice, 51 yards to Ricky Watters, 5 yards to rookie William Floyd and 8 yards to Watters, Young completed 17 of 23 passes for 239 yards in the first half.

Young, who came out to a standing ovation with 5:38 left in the game, wound up completing 24 of 36 passes for 325 yards, falling 32 yards short of the record of 357 passing yards Montana set in Super Bowl XXIII.

"You can't describe the feeling," Young said. "That's why football is the ultimate team game. When you get there, you share it with 50 other guys. It's geometric -- 50 times 50 -- the elation you feel."

Watters, who ran 9 yards for a third-period touchdown, and Rice, who caught a pair of second-half touchdown passes, both tied the Super Bowl record by scoring three touchdowns. It's now been done four times -- all by 49ers.

Roger Craig set the record Super Bowl XIX against Miami and Rice tied it against Denver in Super Bowl XXIV.

In Super Bowl XXII, Williams completed 13 of 21 for 306 yards in the first half when the Washington Redskins scored five second-period touchdowns to take a 35-10 halftime lead en route to a 42-10 victory over the Broncos.

Williams was blanked in the second half of that game, but Young added his fifth and six touchdown passes in the second half on passes of 15 and 7 yards to Rice.

Rice, who twice received intravenous fluids before the game for flu-like symptoms and then played most of the game with a slightly separated shoulder, caught 10 passes for 149 yards.

"Jerry Rice with one arm is better than anyone else with two arms," Young said.

The 49ers' 304-yard first-half explosion has been topped in the Super Bowl only by the 419-yard total Washington rang up in the first half of that Super Bowl.

The 49ers were the biggest favorites in Super Bowl history, and they proved the oddsmakers right.

The second-biggest favorites -- the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III -- were upset by the New York Jets and Joe Namath, 16-7.

But the Colts had Earl Morrall as their starting quarterback and he was intercepted three times in that loss.

Young, by contrast, played practically flawless football.

"Whatever critics he may have had, he proved tonight that he's one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time," 49ers coach George Seifert said of Young.

Young had been Montana's backup in the team's last two Super Bowl rings after the 1988-89 seasons and had been the team's starting quarterback the past four seasons.

But the 49ers had lost the NFC title game to the Dallas Cowboys the past two seasons and 49ers fans kept blaming him for not following the Montana legacy.

That's all behind Young now. He has proved he can win the Super Bowl.

It also was a satisfying victory for Seifert, whose job was supposed to be in jeopardy if the 49ers didn't win it this year.

The 49ers had manipulated the salary cap to rebuild their defense with such veterans as Deion Sanders, Rickey Jackson, Ken Norton Jr., Gary Plummer and Toi Cook.

Seifert was under pressure to deliver a championship and he got his second Super Bowl ring, leaving him just one behind another 49ers legend -- Bill Walsh.

"I'm just pinching myself, the elation I feel," Seifert said.

The Chargers lost everything including the coin toss.

The Chargers called heads. It came down tails.

The 49ers took the opening kickoff and took three plays to score their first touchdown. It took them just 1:24 and was the fastest touchdown in Super Bowl history.

"We've scored quick like that all year," Young said. "That's one of our strong points."

Team president Carmen Policy called the Super Bowl an "anticlimax" after the 49ers beat the Cowboys in the NFC title game two weeks ago.

It proved to be.

The 49ers went on to set a Super Bowl record by scoring touchdowns on their first three possessions.

They were stopped on their next series when Rice went to the locker room to have a slightly separated shoulder treated.

They then added another touchdown on their next drive to take a 28-10 lead at halftime.

When they added touchdowns on their first two possessions of the third period, the 49ers led 42-10 before Andre Coleman tied Fulton Walker's Super Bowl record by returning a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.

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