SAN FRANCISCO -- Two of the 49ers' young wide receivers who are battling for a role in the team's offense clicked with quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Sunday night.
Wide receiver Marlon Moore, starting his third consecutive exhibition game, caught back-to-back passes totaling 23 yards. And rookie Quinton Patton, making his preseason debut, grabbed a 5-yard touchdown pass from Kaepernick.
Kaepernick led a touchdown drive late in the first quarter and then watched the remainder of the 49ers' 34-14 exhibition victory over the Minnesota Vikings from the Candlestick Park sideline.
Kaepernick played 17 snaps and completed seven of 13 passes for 72 yards and a touchdown in his most extensive appearance of the exhibition season.
After consecutive three-and-outs to open the game, Kaepernick led an 11-play, 84-yard drive in which Patton was on the field for just two plays. Patton caught passes on both of those drives, including a 19-yard reception.
Patton sat out the first three weeks of practice and the team's first two exhibition games with a fractured index finger on his left hand. He made the most of his limited time with Kaepernick in his first game. Patton finished with four catches for 35 yards.
Veteran wide receiver Kyle Williams, who the 49ers are easing back into action as he returns from a torn left ACL to end last season, did not suit up for Sunday's game. He has yet to play in the exhibition season.
Wronging two rights: Veteran wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins showed his return skills when he fielded a line-drive kickoff and took it back 105 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
But coach Jim Harbaugh was not altogether happy with Hawkins, who was flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct. First, Hawkins was penalized for taunting the Vikings on his way to the end zone. Then, Hawkins removed his helmet before returning to the bench area.
Hawkins did not play any wide receiver through the first three quarters, but he made a 22-yard catch along the right sideline. He flipped the ball at Vikings safety Mistral Raymond and was called for his third unsportsmanlike penalty when he head-butted linebacker Desmond Bishop.
Harbaugh immediately removed Hawkins from the game in the middle of the fourth quarter.
Backup QB competition: McCoy was the second quarterback into the action for the 49ers and he played the entire second and third quarters.
His first drive ended with his third interception of the exhibition season when Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway picked him off. On the next drive, McCoy overthrew a wide-open Chad Hall, who is listed at 5 foot 8.
McCoy ended up salvaging his night when he led the team on a nine-play, 91-yard touchdown drive. Jewel Hampton scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to open the fourth quarter. McCoy finished the night completing 11 of 15 passes for 109 yards and an interception.
B.J. Daniels entered the game and immediately led the 49ers on a 15-play, 63-yard drive that culminated with Anthony Dixon's 1-yard touchdown run. Daniels completed two of three passes for 30 yards. He also had a 20-yard run.
On the bubble: Tight end Garrett Celek did not help his cause with a dropped pass and a holding penalty as a wing on the 49ers' field-goal unit.
Backup left tackle Kenny Wiggins was demoted during the game. After back-to-back holding penalties to open the third quarter, Wiggins was benched. Rookie Carter Bykowski, a seventh-round draft pick, replaced Wiggins.
For starters: Eric Reid played the entire first half at free safety and appeared to do enough to hang onto his job. Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder tested Reid deep on the first play from scrimmage, but Reid had good coverage 40 yards down the field on an incompletion to Greg Jennings.
Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks ended the Vikings' first drive with a sack/fumble of Ponder. Aldon Smith recovered the loose ball to set up a 49ers field goal in the early minutes of the game.
Kicker Phil Dawson is 3-for-3 from behind 50 yards on his field-goal attempts in the exhibition season. One week after making two 55-yard attempts, Dawson blasted a 50-yarder at the end of the first half to provide the 49ers with a 20-7 lead.
Premium reserves: Veteran Nnamdi Asomugha moved ahead of Tramaine Brock as the team's No. 3 cornerback and got his hands on a Christian Ponder pass that backup strong safety C.J. Spillman intercepted in the second quarter.
Jon Baldwin, acquired Monday in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for A.J. Jenkins, made his 49ers debut. His first reception was a difficult grab on a slant pattern from Colt McCoy for a 4-yard gain and a first down. He later caught a 19-yard pass on a well-thrown pass from McCoy.
Rookie tight end Vance McDonald returned to action after missing a game with a hamstring strain. He got into the action the 49ers' second play of the game. In the third quarter, he caught a short pass from McCoy and hurdled a Vikings defender on his way to a 15-yard gain.
Best stop of the night: Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson strayed off the sideline and stuck his foot out to trip a fan who stopped action when he ran onto the field along the Minnesota sideline. In all, three fans entered the playing field to stop action in the early moments of the fourth quarter.
Injury report: Running back LaMichael James sustained an elbow injury and did not return. James gained 15 yards on nine rushing attempts. . . Outside linebacker Cam Johnson sustained a shoulder injury that is believed to be more serious in nature.
What's next: The 49ers' final exhibition game is Thursday at the San Diego Chargers. On Monday, the 49ers are expected to make cuts to enable the team to reduce its roster to the 75-player limit. The deadline for NFL teams to cut from 90 players is Tuesday at 1 p.m.