Former Davidson High School star Jimmie Ward contributed an interception to the San Francisco 49ers’ 38-10 rout of the Arizona Cardinals in an NFC West game on Monday night in Mexico City.
Because of injuries, Ward was playing in only his fifth game this season on Monday night, but the 49ers defensive back came away with his first interception of 2022.
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Ward caught the football after it had bounced off the hand of Arizona running back James Conner to give San Francisco possession at the Cardinals 46-yard line with 9:37 left in the first half. Three snaps later, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo connected with George Kittle for the first of his two touchdown tosses to the San Francisco tight end as the 49ers took a 14-3 lead.
The interception was the sixth of Ward’s NFL career, including one in last season’s NFC Championship Game. He had returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns, and Ward jumped up and ran to the end zone with his Monday night interception, too. But he was ruled to have been touched down.
Ward also made five tackles against the Cardinals.
Ward’s interception came off QB Colt McCoy, who was filling in for injured regular Kyler Murray for a second straight game. That worked out fine for Arizona last week, when the Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Rams 27-17. Against San Francisco, McCoy completed 24-of-34 passes for 218 yards with no touchdowns and one interception before being pulled for Trace McSorley.
Garoppolo completed 20-of-29 passes for 228 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
San Francisco ran away with the game in the second half. After outgaining Arizona by 1 yard in the first half, the 49ers had a 201-129 advantage in yardage in the second half. San Francisco ran for 126 yards on 21 carries after halftime.
In addition to Ward, one other player with Alabama football roots played in the San Francisco-Arizona game:
· Cardinals center Rodney Hudson (B.C. Rain) is on injured reserve and not eligible to play.
· Cardinals cornerback Christian Matthew (Samford) played but did not record any stats.
· Forty-Niners tight end Jordan Matthews (Madison Academy) is on injured reserve and not eligible to play.
· Cardinals offensive lineman Lachavious Simmons (Selma) is on the practice squad and not eligible to play.
With its third consecutive victory, San Francisco improved to 6-4, tied with the Seattle Seahawks for the best record in the NFC West, and the 49ers defeated Seattle 27-7 on Sept. 18. Arizona has a 4-7 record.
Both teams return home for games on Sunday. San Francisco faces the New Orleans Saints, and the Cardinals square off against the Los Angeles Chargers.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.
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