NFL

Arizona HS standout Brock Purdy steps up for 49ers with Garoppolo injuring foot

Dec 4, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: 9:12 pm
Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers attempts a pass during the second quarter against the Mi...
Brock Purdy #13 of the San Francisco 49ers attempts a pass during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Levi's Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Brock Purdy, the former Perry High School slinger from Gilbert, made NFL history on Sunday for the San Francisco 49ers with his first professional touchdown pass in a 33-17 win over the Dolphins.

The former Iowa State Cyclone was selected No. 262 in April’s draft by San Francisco, the final slot in the draft nicknamed “Mr. Irrelevant.” No one drafted last had ever thrown a touchdown pass before Sunday afternoon, when Purdy linked up with fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the first quarter.

With 49ers (8-4) Week 1 starter Trey Lance out for the season, Purdy has been the backup to Jimmy Garoppolo.

The veteran was carted to the locker room with a foot issue Sunday after San Francisco’s opening offensive drive, giving Purdy his first chance at an extended NFL run behind center.

Purdy took over on his team’s second possession and led his first scoring drive that gave the 49ers a 10-7 lead.

Purdy led a well-executed 11-play, two-minute drill at the end of the first half, completing six passes for 75 yards capped by a three-yard TD to Christian McCaffrey with 4 seconds left to make it 17-10.

“Brock has played a lot of football and you can tell,” Juszczyk said. “Just the way that he plays the position, he has a savviness to him. He has an understanding. He has a confidence to him.

“I thought he did a really good job today in the huddle, just kind of commanding everyone’s respect and getting the plays in and out and delivering some confident passes out there. I think we can definitely still do some things with Brock.”

In a critical game for the 49ers as they push for control of the NFC West, a seventh-round rookie from the East Valley held his own and gave them a shot.

He completed 25 of 37 throws for 210 yards and a quarterback rate of 88.8, which ranked No. 13 in the league among 26 Week 13 performances ahead of Sunday Night Football.

San Francisco’s defense held Miami to seven points after the break to seal the win.

The Dolphins (8-4) had their five-game winning streak snapped.

“I feel like there was a little just like, the whole butterfly feeling of ‘Man, we’re going in, let’s do this,’” Purdy said.

“It wasn’t like I was out there like shaking like, ‘Oh, shoot, what do I do? What’s my read?’ None of that. Every single week I act like I’m the starter. I prepare like I’m the starter. My name was called. Coach Griese said let’s roll.”

Purdy was 4-for-9 on throws this season entering Sunday.

The 2017 Gatorade Arizona Player of the Year was highly recruited at Perry as he was a two-time first-team all-state selection. Perry reached the Class 6A state championship game in 2017 but fell to Chandler.

At Iowa State, he was named First Team All-Big 12 in 2020 and 2021 ahead of getting drafted.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan announced after the game that Garoppolo broke his foot and is done for the season, leaving the 49ers with Purdy as the sole healthy quarterback on their 53-man roster.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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