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49ers power past outmanned Vikings LB Norton delivers telling punch, 38-22

January 04, 1998|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

The replay showed the officials blew the call on the catch because Reed's second toe came down on the end line, but it didn't make much difference because the 49ers came back with a 75-yard touchdown drive to make it 31-14.

After the teams traded touchdowns, the Vikings, trailing 38-22, had one last shot when they got to the 49ers' 16 with just over two minutes left. But Cunningham spiked the ball on first down and then threw three straight incompletions to wrap it up.

The 49ers won't find out how good they really are until next week because the victory was only the third against a team with a winning record all season.

"We heard a lot all year about how we haven't played anybody and our schedule is soft and this and that. But we just play our schedule," Norton said.

Norton knows the team will be judged by how far it goes.

"In '94, we went all the way. We haven't gone all the way yet," he said.

They're still two wins shy of that goal.

NFC elite

The 49ers will play in the NFC championship game next Sunday for the 12th time overall and the seventh time in the past 10 years. San Francisco's record in the game is 5-6:

Season Opponent ...... Result

1970 Dallas .......... L, 17-10

1971 at Dallas ....... L, 14-3

1981 Dallas .......... W, 28-27

1983 at Washington ... L, 24-21

1984 Chicago ......... W, 23-0

1988 at Chicago ...... W, 28-3

1989 L.A. Rams ....... W, 30-3

1990 N.Y. Giants ..... L, 15-13

1992 Dallas .......... L, 30-20

1993 at Dallas ....... L, 38-21

1994 Dallas .......... W, 38-28

Pub Date: 1/04/98

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