Hyde gashes Vikes for two touchdowns, 168 yards in 49ers' win

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 15, 2015 2:00 AM

(The Sports Xchange) - Running back Carlos Hyde rushed for a career-high 168 yards and two touchdowns, leading the 49ers to a 20-3 season-opening victory against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday at Levi's Stadium in new San Francisco coach Jim Tomsula's debut.

Hyde, who carried 26 times, scored on a 10-yard run in the second quarter and a 17-yard run in the fourth.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who missed the final 15 games last season over child-abuse charges, rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries in his first game since Sept. 7, 2014.

The 49ers lost running back Frank Gore, their all-time leading rusher, as a free agent to the Indianapolis Colts after last season. Hyde, who backed up Gore last year as a rookie, replaced him in the starting lineup this year and made his first career start on Monday.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 17 of 26 passes for 165 yards and ran for 41 yards on seven carries. Tight end Vernon Davis caught three passes for 47 yards, and tight end Garrett Celek had three catches for 40 yards.

Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 23 of 32 passes for 231 yards with one interception. He was sacked five times.

The 49ers entered the second half with a 7-0 lead and made it 10-0 on kicker Phil Dawson's 30-yard field goal with 4:32 left in the third quarter. The 49ers drove 73 yards in 14 plays before stalling at the Vikings' 11.

Minnesota cut San Francisco's lead to 10-3 with 14:43 left to play when kicker Blair Walsh made a 37-yard field goal. The Vikings drove 66 yards in 11 plays to the 49ers' 19, but Bridgewater threw incomplete on second and third downs.

The 49ers drove 80 yards for a touchdown, moving ahead 17-3. Hyde gained 17 yards to the Vikings 10 and scored on a 10-yard burst over right guard with 9:30 left to play.

San Francisco cornerback Tramaine Brock picked off a Bridgewater overthrow and returned 26 yards to the Vikings' 30, setting up Dawson' 25-yard field goal with 6:08 remaining.

The 49ers took a 7-0 lead on Hyde's 10-yard touchdown run with 4:58 left in an error-filled first half. Facing second-and-3, Hyde started right, spun to his left and raced untouched into the end zone. He capped an 11-play, 93-yard touchdown drive.

Hyde carried 12 times for 83 yards in the first half, repeatedly gashing the Vikings' defense.

The 49ers lost backup running back Reggie Bush to a left calf injury early in the first quarter. That left the 49ers with rookie Jarryd Hayne, a former Australian rugby star, as their only backup running back. Hayne finished with four carries for 13 yards.

The 49ers survived a first-half special teams meltdown. Dawson had a 28-yard field-goal attempt blocked by safety Andrew Sendejo and returned 44 yards by cornerback Marcus Sherels to the 49ers' 26.

Hayne muffed a punt that Minnesota recovered at its 43. San Francisco punt returner Bruce Ellington had an 85-yard return for a touchdown nullified because of two illegal blocks in the back by the 49ers.

Walsh missed a 44-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)