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Boldin TD catch gives 49ers NFC championship lead

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 19, 2014 at 8:18 pm •  Published: January 19, 2014

SEATTLE (AP) — Anquan Boldin easily outjumped Earl Thomas in the end zone on a go-ahead 26-yard touchdown catch, and the San Francisco 49ers answered the Seattle Seahawks with a big play to take a 17-13 lead after three quarters in Sunday's NFC championship game.

Marshawn Lynch got loose for a 40-yard touchdown at the 9:51 mark of the third quarter, sending Seattle's home crowd into a Beast Mode frenzy and tying the game at 10.

Then, Kaepernick came through once more — with his speedy legs and strong arm.

Kaepernick hit Michael Crabtree for a 22-yard catch then the speedy quarterback ran for 22 yards in a crucial two-play sequence during the next drive.

One play before Boldin's score, Kaepernick fumbled when sacked and center Jonathan Goodwin pounced on the ball.

Doug Baldwin returned the ensuing kickoff 69 yards, and Steven Hauschka kicked a 40-yard field goal to go with his earlier 32-yarder.

The game drew a CenturyLink Field-record 68,454, topping last week's 68,388 during Seattle's divisional-round win against New Orleans.

Kaepernick, who had a key 58-yard rush early in the second quarter, was the game's leading rusher through three quarters with 120 yards, while Lynch also reached the 100-yard mark with 103.

The 49ers played the second half without left guard Mike Iupati, who injured his right ankle with 10:03 remaining and went to the locker room for X-rays. It was announced he would not return.

Return man LaMichael James went down with a neck injury after he fumbled the catch on a punt to begin the second quarter but came back.

Kaepernick's 58-yard run is the longest allowed by Seattle this season, topping Frank Gore's 51-yard gain that set up the winning field goal in the 49ers' 19-17 victory Dec. 8 at Candlestick Park.

San Francisco's defense brought the pressure and sacked Russell Wilson four times in the first half, keeping the Seahawks offense from finding a steady rhythm before Lynch got going.

Baldwin had six catches for 106 yards, including a 51-yard reception in the second quarter on which he beat two defenders who had moved up to support when Wilson scrambled right.

When Wilson turned back to his left, Baldwin took off. He injured a hip on the play, briefly headed to the locker room before returning.

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