It wasn’t just the first touchdown of Paul Richardson’s NFL career.
As the rookie put it, it was “another first touchdown.”
Richardson had what he thought was his first career touchdown at San Francisco on Thanksgiving night called back due to a penalty.
Sunday, he finally got to celebrate for real after catching a 10-yard pass from Russell Wilson with 13:24 to go, the final points in Seattle’s 17-7 victory.
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“Man, every time I make a play I make sure before I celebrate it that there are no flags,” he said. “It all came together today.”
The catch continued what has been a second-half resurgence for Richardson, who was the team’s first choice in the 2014 draft, taken No. 45 overall.
Sunday he also made an 11-yard catch to convert a third-and-10 in the third quarter that set up Seattle’s first touchdown.
Richardson finished with three catches for 30 yards Sunday. For the season, he has 19 receptions for 159 yards.
Richardson said he knew he would get more opportunities following the trade of Percy Harvin.
“I appreciate everyone pushing me and everyone trusting me and that’s what I’ve been showing,” he said.
The touchdown came on second-and-goal.
As Richardson lined up in the slot, he saw San Francisco safety Eric Reid shaded to the outside. That meant he had to cut inside.
“I saw the safety set outside of me so I knew I had to cross his face,” Richardson said.
“I knew the ball was going to be there quick so my only thing was to catch the ball and get down. So I got the ball — protect the throw, then protect yourself — and it worked out.”
Hochuli defends controversial call
The Richardson touchdown was set up after the 49ers were called for roughing Wilson on a third-and-five pass from the 15 that fell incomplete.
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said, “I didn’t agree with the call,” adding, “I did not get an explanation on that one.”
Wilson was hit by 49ers linebacker Nick Moody — who was playing inside with Chris Borland injured — and safety Antoine Bethea. The official stats credited the penalty to Moody, who hit Wilson first.
“I felt that he hit the quarterback in the chest with the hairline (of the helmet), and that’s a foul unless he has his face completely up and would hit it face-on with the face mask,” said referee Ed Hochuli in comments to a pool reporter. “It’s a foul, and that’s why I called it.”
Moody said he thought it was a perfect face mask-to-chest hit.
“That’s how I felt,” he said.
Wilson said “I thought it was a good call” and said he wasn’t surprised to see a flag.
Okung leaves with chest bruise
Seattle left tackle Russell Okung suffered a chest wall bruise on the final play of the first half when he was hit hard by the 49ers’ Ray McDonald.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Okung was taken to the hospital and released.
“He has a chest wall bruise and I’m not sure what that all means,” Carroll said, adding that he would know more in a few days. Okung’s status for the rest of the season is uncertain.
Alvin Bailey filled in for Okung in the second half.
Pass rush stepping up
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett disagrees with the idea he and defensive end Cliff Avril were getting double-teamed.
“Doubled?!” Bennett said. “It was like four or five! I don’t know what the hell that was. I ain’t ever seen no blocking scheme like that.”
The 49ers had running backs and tight ends to block Avril and Bennett, and they also had their center slide over to help. That meant Seattle’s other pass rushers, particularly Jordan Hill and Bruce Irvin, had one-on-one matchups. Hill and Irvin combined for three of Seattle’s six sacks, with Hill getting his third and fourth sacks in four weeks.
“Guys are making the plays they’re supposed to make,” Avril said. “With me and Mike sometimes, we get double- and triple-teamed, and other guys are stepping up. It’s good to see.”
Wilson: Just a bad pass
Wilson said the interception he threw to end the first half was a pass that simply got away. He said he was trying to throw to Doug Baldwin and threw it over his head and right to Reid.
“We were trying to take a shot into the end zone there,” Wilson said. “We’ve done it before and I knew what I was doing. I just kind of threw it high. I kind of mis-aimed there.”
Wilson said there was no debate before the play — which came with eight seconds left in the half and Seattle having no timeouts and a third-and-10 at the 29. “I just missed the throw.”