Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers carries the ball, pursued by Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Candlestick Park on December 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Frank Gore's 51-yard run set up Phil Dawson's fourth field goal of the game, a 22-yarder with 26 seconds left that lifted the San Francisco 49ers over the Seattle Seahawks 19-17 on Sunday.
The 49ers (9-4) pulled within two games of Seattle (11-2) in the NFC West and kept the already playoff-bound Seahawks from clinching the division title in a game both teams described as hard-fought.
"It was one of those really cool kind of matchups -- close, and where one play can make a difference," said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. "They came through and figured out a way to win."
Gore's run started to the left, but he cut back through the middle, slipping through would-be tacklers Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas and taking it to the right sideline before going down without being tackled.
Though he looked like he may have tweaked something, Gore returned for four more carries. Colin Kaepernick scrambled left to pick up a first down on 3rd- and-7 and the 49ers trimmed as much time as they could off the clock before Dawson split the uprights.
San Francisco cornerback Eric Wright intercepted Russell Wilson on a deep ball on Seattle's next play to seal the 49ers' third straight win.
"We still have a lot to learn, but that's a good thing. Beating a team like Seattle and still not playing our best game, that's great," said Gore. "We knew it was going to be a tough game. We both know each other and I'm happy we got the job done."
Kaepernick threw for 175 yards with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis and an interception, and Gore ran for 110 yards on 17 carries.
Seattle had its seven-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time since falling on the road to the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 6. The Seahawks had already locked up a playoff berth with Monday's 34-7 home win over the New Orleans Saints.
Wilson threw for 199 yards and a touchdown and Marshawn Lynch rushed for 72 yards with an 11-yard touchdown run.
Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell intercepted a pass intended for Michael Crabtree near the goal line late in the third quarter, keeping the 49ers from extending their 16-14 lead, but his first career pick only led to a punt.
The teams traded punts until Golden Tate's 38-yard return set the Seahawks up for Steven Hauschka's 31-yard field goal, which he kicked just inside the left upright with 6:20 remaining to give Seattle a 17-16 lead.
Earlier, Dawson kicked field goals of 23 and 48 yards in the first quarter, the second one set up by Kassim Osgood's blocked punt. The Seahawks went 80 yards on the ensuing drive and Lynch scored on an 11-yard run for a 7-6 lead.
Dawson split the uprights from 52 yards midway through the second quarter. The Seahawks went up 14-9 on Luke Wilson's first NFL touchdown, a 39-yard catch with 3:47 remaining in the first half, but Davis' 8-yard touchdown reception with six seconds left in the half gave the 49ers a 16-14 lead going into the break.
"All points on the board today were big," said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. "It was a tight game. They made a lot of plays, we made plays. It was one of those type ballgames."
The Seahawks are on the road against the New York Giants next week and the 49ers are at Tampa Bay vs. the Buccaneers ... The Seahawks are chasing their second division title in four years. The 49ers have won the last two.