NFL

49ers lead Rams 21-3 after 3 quarters

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ST. LOUIS (AP)

Anquan Boldin sparked San Francisco's offense with two big second-quarter receptions, including a 20-yarder for a touchdown, and Frank Gore ran for a season-high 146 yards and a score to help the 49ers build a 21-3 lead over St. Louis after three quarters Thursday night.

Boldin, who had a monster debut with the 49ers after beating them in the Super Bowl, twisted past Cortland Finnegan - even though Finnegan was flagged for holding - and caught a 42-yard pass from Colin Kaepernick for San Francisco's second-biggest gain of the season.

Gore more than doubled his output from the previous three weeks, surpassing 100 yards rushing with a 34-yard TD run late in the first half. Kaepernick then engineered another scoring drive early in the third quarter, finishing it off with a 12-yard scoring pass to Vernon Davis.

Kaepernick accounted for 70 of San Francisco's 88 yards on the ensuing drive, 63 passing and a 7-yard scramble. Davis, who had been questionable because of a hamstring injury, broke open for an easy catch in the left side of the end zone to push the lead to 21-3.

Acquired by San Francisco for only a sixth-round pick in the offseason, Boldin had 208 yards on 13 catches in a season-opening win over Green Bay. But he had just one catch the following week in a loss to division rival Seattle and a mediocre 67-yard outing against Indianapolis on Sunday. Boldin had 90 yards on five catches Thursday night

He came into the game with 83 career receptions against the Rams, the most of any opponent he has faced.

Donte Whitner dove into the end zone for an interception off a deflected jump ball, and the 49ers marched right back down the field to score again on Gore's run through a gaping hole on the right side created by pulling guard Mike Iupati.

Gore, who had 142 yards rushing through the first three games, already had 107 by halftime. It was the second straight week St. Louis' defense allowed an opposing rusher to hit the century mark in the first half. DeMarco Murray did it for Dallas on Sunday.

St. Louis moved into scoring range after Bradford connected with Brian Quick for a 14-yard gain and the 49ers' Justin Smith was flagged for a 15-yard facemask penalty. The Rams' drive stalled when Bradford overshot an open Austin Pettis after he had beaten rookie safety Eric Reid. Pettis made a diving attempt at the catch near the goal line but couldn't come up with it. Greg Zuerlein then connected from 40 yards to move to 6 for 6 on field goals this season.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Tagged: Rams, 49ers, Anquan Boldin, Frank Gore, Colin Kaepernick

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