80-yard TD throw highlights Trey Lance's first 49ers showing

Jimmy Garoppolo got the start and saw a series’ worth of play, as expected.

Then came Trey Lance, the main attraction.

The 2021 No. 3 overall pick’s first preseason drive as a San Francisco 49ers quarterback produced a three-and-out, with an incomplete pass and a sack.

And then came a second chance to make a phenomenal first impression and the North Dakota St. product followed suit with a scintillating 80-yard touchdown to Trent Sherfield.

It was the indelible moment in Lance’s first action as the 49ers lost to the Chiefs, 19-16, in preseason action on Saturday night.

“It was super exciting,” Lance said after the game. “Kind of the moment you dream of scoring your first touchdown. Even though it’s preseason, it’s pretty cool. With my teammates, the guys in that locker room, that they were so excited for me and for Trent making that play. It was for sure a special moment and I wish I could’ve capitalized on the opportunities that came after that.”

Lance took over after the opening drive and ended his night following the first drive of the second half. His final line was 5 of 14 for 128 yards, the one score, no interceptions and a 93.7 QB rating.

“There was some good and some bad. By no means was it perfect,” 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said. “Definitely missed a couple. There was a couple spots that could’ve gone to different places. Sometimes a couple balls that sailed on him that he would like to have back, but he also came out pretty good, too – making the right plays, getting the right spots. I think he had a couple drops there, especially on a third down that I think he could’ve kept the drive going if we had caught it. It was a good first day. I didn’t want it to go perfect for him. [There’s] some things he could learn from and there’s a lot of things we can go over tomorrow.”

Lance was forced to deal with three receiver drops in the first half. And in the shadows of the 80-yard high spot, Lance took a pounding. He was sacked four times and constantly pressured behind a Niners line that had a few starters playing, but struggled mightily.

The 80-yard highlight was a play-action to the right in which the rookie rolled back left, calmly set up and delivered brilliance, hitting Sherfield just maybe a step behind stride. Sherfield raced untouched to six.

“I was a little bit nervous coming around because the corner had gotten hands on him a little bit, so he was probably only at 5 to 10 yards where typically if he didn’t have hands on him he would already be down the field at 15,” Lance said of the play. “But yeah, he made a great play, obviously, and set the angle perfectly. So, for me, it was one of those situations, obviously, where I want to get the ball in his hands.”

It was one big moment in one preseason game, but it was a snapshot of what could become for Lance and will no doubt kindle 49ers fans’ desire to see the rookie replace Garoppolo.

As much of a dream-like scenario as it was for Lance, though, it’s not what he’ll be focusing on going forward.

“Obviously, I will focus on what I did incorrectly more than what I’ll focus on what I did well,” he said. “There’s something I can learn on pretty much every play out there. That Jimmy ran, that I ran, and that Josh [Rosen] ran. So, it’ll be good for me to go through and watch it. My first time in a game setting, being tackled in a while. [I’m] excited to go back and watch that and really see if what I felt lines up with what I’m seeing on tape.”

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