EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., OCT. 5 -- Del Rodgers ran two yards for a touchdown late in the first half, Mike Wells returned a blocked punt for a score 28 seconds later and the San Francisco 49ers went on to defeat the winless New York Giants, 41-21, tonight in an NFL replacement game.
Only 16,471 fans attended, a record low for the Giants at 76,000-seat Giants Stadium.
About 30 striking Giants and New York Jets players were joined by about 500 union workers and fans in picketing outside Giants Stadium prior to the game.
Approximately 40,000 tickets for the game were returned.
Those who did attend were treated to the offensive tactics of 49ers Coach Bill Walsh. He had the 49ers open the game with a reverse and then employed a wishbone offense during much of the second half under the direction of quarterback Mark Stevens.
Giants Coach Bill Parcells broke out laughing when he saw the wishbone and gestured across the field to Walsh, who joined in the laughter.
The 49ers (2-1), whose roster included 17 players with NFL experience as compared with four for the Giants, broke the game open in the final minute of the first half, after Rodgers dove over left guard for a 10-7 lead. After failing to move following the kickoff, the Giants (0-3) called on punter Dana Moore. His kick was blocked by Matt Courtney and scooped up at the 1-yard line by Wells.
San Francisco also scored while running the wishbone. After a fake to the fullback, Stevens hit former NFL veteran Carl Monroe on a 39-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. Stevens scored on 9-yard keeper off the wishbone on the first play of the fourth quarter.
The Giants scored three touchdowns passing, two on spectacular plays. Starter Jim Crocicchia hit Lewis Bennett for a 46-yard score that gave New York a 7-3 lead briefly in the second quarter, and reserve Michael Busch connected with Reggie McGowan on a 63-yard play with nine minutes left in the game.
Busch threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Edwin Lovelady with 2:20 to go for New York's other touchdown.