Backup quarterback Joe Pisarcik led a strong second-half Philadelphia effort and the Eagles came away with a 22-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers tonight after a touchdown pass by the 49ers in the closing seconds of the National Football League's season-opener was nullified by a penalty.
Guy Benjamin, the 49ers' second-string quarterback, passed to Dwight Clark in the end zone with 11 seconds remaining, but guard Randy Cross was called for holding.
With just over a minute left, the 49ers' Wendell Tyler lost a fumble inside the Eagles' 10-yard line, with Roynell Young recovering in the end zone. The 49ers got the ball back when Hubert Oliver fumbled at the Philadelphia 28.
"I saw Wendell coming up the middle," defensive end Dennis Harrison said. "I reached up at the last second and hit the ball. You know, he carries the ball way out there anyway."
The Eagles' victory came in their first game under their new head coach, Marion Campbell.
"I'm especially proud of how the defense stood in the end," Campbell said.
Pisarcik, who threw only one pass last season, took over tonight after starting quarterback Ron Jaworski was shaken up in the second period when he was slammed to the turf by defensive end Fred Dean.
Pisarcik completed a 33-yard pass to Mike Quick, setting up a 30-yard field goal by Tony Franklin that put the Eagles ahead, 12-10, midway in the third period. Later in in the period, he threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to fullback Oliver.
Joe Montana, the 49ers' starting quarterback, left the game twice after hard hits. Benjamin hit tight end Earl Cooper on a 73-yard touchdown pass play with 4:15 remaining in the game as the 49ers cut a Philadelphia lead to 22-17.
The teams, both 3-6 last season, played the opener before a crowd of 55,775. Candlestick Park was sold out, but there were 5,273 no-shows.