Joe Montana threw for 353 yards and three touchdowns to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 34-21 victory over the winless Houston Oilers today.
The 49ers (7-1) took the opening kickoff and drove 83 yards in 10 plays for a 7-0 lead. Montana passed for 52 yards in the drive, including an 11-yard touchdown to tight end Russ Francis.
Ray Wersching's 26-yard field goal on San Francisco's next possession made it 10-0.
Cornerback Steve Brown intercepted a Montana pass at the Houston 35 and returned 26 yards to set up Houston's first score. Warren Moon (25 of 33, 356 yards, two touchdowns) threw 24 and 15 yards before Tim Moriarity scored from the one to make it 10-7.
Moon was intercepted by Dana McLemore in the second quarter, San Francisco then drove 97 yards in 18 plays with Montana throwing a screen pass to Wendell Tyler for a 26-yard touchdown and a 17-7 lead.
On the second play of the second half, San Francisco defensive end Lawrence Pillers recovered Moriarity's fumble at the Oilers' nine-yard line. A three-yard touchdown run by Tyler (108 yards, 23 carries) was nullified by a holding penalty and the 49ers settled for a 22-yard field goal and a 20-7 lead.
The Oilers (0-8) drove from their 37 to score in six plays and cut the lead 20-14 on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Moon to Tim Smith. The drive was aided by a third-down pass interference call against safety Jeff Fuller.
After Houston's Florian Kempf missed a 33-yard field goal, San Francisco fullback Roger Craig finished an 80-yard drive with a five-yard scoring run. Montana completed three passes to Dwight Clark for 39 yards on the march.
The Oilers cut the lead to 27-21 when Moon threw 29 yards to tight end Jamie Williams with 5:18 left in the game. However, Montana and Clark had an 80-yard score to clinch the Oilers' defeat, their 30th in their last 33 games.
Montana victimized the Oilers' young secondary for 25 completions in 35 attempts. He threw one interception and was sacked once.