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Which of Steve Young, Garrison Hearst, & Alex Smith had the most memorable run?

The San Francisco 49ers have had some amazing plays throughout their history, and I stumbled across some video that got me thinking about some of the great runs in the franchise’s history.

My three favorite runs that I can recall would have to be Steve Young’s 49-yard game-winning touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings, Garrison Hearst’s 96-yard overtime game-winning touchdown against the New York Jets, and Alex Smith’s 28-yard touchdown run in a playoff victory over the New Orleans Saints.

My love of the 49ers dates back to the mid-80s, when I was kid growing up in Las Vegas. My knowledge of 49ers history prior to that is limited compared to other folks, so for the older folks, if I am missing some older runs, I’d love to hear about them.

In the meantime, here are videos of each of the three runs, followed by a poll asking which of them is most memorable.

Steve Young’s 49-yard game-winning touchdown vs. Minnesota Vikings

The 49ers trailed the Vikings 21-17 in the fourth quarter, with Young starting place of Joe Montana. Young was almost sacked, but snuck out from behind his offensive linemen. After that, six Vikings defenders got a hand on him before reaching the end zone. He stumbled near the end and had to dive into the end zone before falling over. And of course, there is the epic call of the play.

Garrison Hearst’s 96-yard overtime game-winning touchdown vs. New York Jets

In 1998, the 49ers opened the season at home against the New York Jets. They were coming off a 13-3 season that ended in the NFC title game. Expectations were high, and the team welcomed back Jerry Rice from his torn ACL. Terrell Owens had broken out in place of Rice, and would prove to be critical on this run, springing Hearst at the end with a huge block.

Alex Smith’s 28-yard touchdown run in a playoff victory vs. New Orleans Saints

The 49ers were playing their first playoff game since January 2003. They jumped out on top of the Saints 17-0, but New Orleans fought back to eventually take a 24-23 lead. The 49ers quickly responded, moving down the field in short order before getting into a 3rd and 7 at the 28-yard line with 2:18 left in the third quarter. The 49ers lined up in the shotgun with an empty backfield, but surprised everybody with a QB keeper to the left. He got out in the open field and Joe Staley made the key final block. The 49ers went on to win 36-32.

Time to vote. If you can’t see the poll, you’ll need to go directly to the site on your phone or computer to vote. Otherwise, let us know in the comments.


Which of these runs is most memorable?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    Steve Young 49-yard game-winning TD
    (504 votes)
  • 23%
    Garrison Hearst 96-yard overtime TD
    (274 votes)
  • 33%
    Alex Smith 28-yard playoff TD
    (387 votes)
1165 votes total Vote Now