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Rams Top 49ers at Kezar Stadium

Dec. 2, 1963 - For the first time since 1958, the rebounding Rams made it three wins in a row yesterday by subduing the San Francisco 49ers, 21-17, before a modest turnout of 33,321 chilled fans at Kezar Stadium. Dick Bass, the Rams’ whirling dervish, had another big game, scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter on slashes of tackle of 10 and 6 yards to give Los Angeles a 14-0 lead which the scrappy 49ers never were quite able to overcome. This fifth victory assured the Rams of their most successful season since they posted an 8-4 record six years ago, and it also gave them undisputed possession of fourth place in the NFL’s Western Conference. That may not sound like much, but fourth place is a pretty lofty perch for a team that has suffered miserably these past few years. As a result, the Rams will draft seventh in today’s NFL grab-bag session in Chicago, with the last-place 49ers drafting first. San Francisco is expected to select quarterback George Mira of Miami, Fla., in the first round. Yesterday, vital pass interceptions by Bobby Smith and Mike Henry plus some quarterback-smearing tackles by the veteran Cliff Livingston contributed to the Rams’ victory — their third this season over the 49ers. Henry, who was obtained from the Steelers in a swap for Clendon Thomas before the 1962 season, was awarded the game ball for his contribution to the cause. “Mike came up with two big pass interceptions in the clutch,” commented coach Harland Svare. “He deserves the game ball.” Svare also singled out kicking specialist Danny Villanueva for high praise. “Danny kicked ‘em high and he kicked ‘em long today to keep the 49ers in the hole,” grinned the youthful head coach. Although the Rams had been favored to win yesterday’s contest, Svare conceded that he had had pre-game qualms. “It’s good to win when you’re expected to,” he said, “because sometimes it’s tougher to do in that situation.” San Francisco coach Jack Christiansen was asked if the 49ers’ third successive defeat might make it difficult for the players to rebound emotionally for the clash with the Bears at Chicago next Sunday. “Any time you’re losing,” Christiansen replied, “there’s always the chance of your spirit going down. But I think these guys will get their spirits back up and be ready to play the Bears.” The 49ers are the only team that has defeated Chicago this season.


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