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49ers dominate final exhibition game in Houston

Chris Cook intercepts the ball
Chris Cook intercepts the ball
Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers end their preseason on a high note with a 40-13 win over the Houston Texans on Thursday evening. They finish the exhibition season with a 2-2 record and win their last two games.

In the beginning, the 49ers were off to a slow start allowing two field goals and trailing 6-0 in the first quarter.

However, the second quarter picked it up as Blaine Gabbert helped the 49ers go 84 yards in 12 plays late in the half. Carrier caught a deep 32-yard pass on third down and a defensive holding kept the chains moving.

After a 13 yard run by Alfonso Smith on third down, Gabbert hit TE Asante Cleveland for a 14-yard touchdown pass to the right for the team’s third touchdown of the preseason.

Gabbert compelted 4 out of 11 passing attempts for 60 yards, with his touchdown pass to Cleveland being the final one on Thursday night.

Chris Cook intercepted Case Keenum on the following possession and put the 49ers in the red zone immediately. Josh Johnson threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Ellington on the next play to put the 49ers up 14-6 at halftime.

The third quarter saw more domination by the 49ers defense. After Phil Dawson added a 28-yard field goal to the score, Chris Borland returned an interception for touchdown on the next Texans’ possession.

The Texans returned an interception for a touchdown of their own, but the 49ers scored another touchdown with Josh Johnson finding Kyle Nelson for a touchdown after nearly being sacked. Johnson threw a second touchdown to Nelson to pile it on.

Even though Johnson thrived in this preseason game, it might not matter as majority of the 49ers 53-man roster is already decided. In 2012, Johnson outplayed Scott Tolzien in the preseason, but the latter made the roster due to financial and a pre-decision already made.

The deadline to trim the roster to 53 players is on Saturday, 1:00 p.m. PT.

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Game Notes:

-The 49ers started their second team defense and second-team offense for this game. Nick Moody and Chris Borland started at inside linebacker, indicating that Michael Wilhoite has secured the starting ILB job.

-With Colin Kaepernick inactive, he finished the preseason completing 12 out of 22 passing attempts for 115 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions in the boxscore.

-Ian Williams was the only starter on defense to play in this game. He took the first two possessions as the team’s nose tackle.

-Brandon Lloyd was also inactive for this game for the third time in four exhibitions.

-Stevie Johnson failed to have a reception as he was targeted twice.

-TE Derek Carrier left the game with a hamstring injury.