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Smith tosses TD in 49ers defeat

SAN DIEGO — Former Ute Alex Smith threw a touchdown pass in his homecoming game. Philip Rivers and Cleo Lemon had scoring passes, too.

And now they all get to sit on the bench to open the season.

Lemon, San Diego's third-string quarterback, threw a 13-yard scoring pass to Ruvell Martin with 19 seconds left to give the Chargers a 28-24 victory over the San Francisco.

Smith, who played at Helix High in nearby La Mesa before starring at Utah, was in for 23 plays over four drives, completing nine of 15 passes for 69 yards. He threw one interception and fumbled once, which he recovered. Smith had a rough start. After two penalties against the 49ers, he was hit hard on two straight pass attempts that both fell incomplete.

Just before halftime, Smith rolled left and threw a 23-yard pass to Fred Amey to tie the game at 14.

The 49ers (2-2), still mourning the death of guard Thomas Herrion on Aug. 21, will try to rebound from an NFL-worst 2-14 finish in 2004. They host St. Louis on Sept. 11.