PONTIAC, MICH., AUG. 17 -- Barry Sanders ran for 59 yards and two touchdowns tonight as the Detroit Lions scored a 24-13 preseason victory over the Buffalo Bills, who played on only three days' rest. It was the second consecutive preseason win for the Lions, who closed the 1989 season with a five-game winning streak.
The Bills (0-2), who lost to the New York Giants on Monday night, rested Jim Kelly after the first quarter. He completed one of three passes for four yards. Gale Gilbert went the rest of the way, hitting 23 of 29 for 234 yards and two touchdowns.
Bob Gagliano, who engineered all five of the late-1989 wins, got his first start for Detroit. He completed five of 12 for 64 yards. Rodney Peete took over and guided the Lions to scores on three consecutive possessions. He completed four of seven for 75 yards and ran for a score.
Kelly, under pressure from Michael Cofer, underthrew Andre Reed on the Bills' second possession, following a fumble recovery by Mark Kelso. Terry Taylor's interception and 23-yard return set the Lions up at the Buffalo 33.
Six plays later Sanders ran four yards untouched around left end for a touchdown with 3:58 remaining in the first quarter.
Gilbert took over on Buffalo's first possession of the second quarter and guided the Bills on a 69-yard, 13-play scoring drive.
It appeared the Bills would settle for a 30-yard field goal by Kerry Brady with 8:22 left in the half, but Detroit's Mike Utley was called for running into the kicker. Three plays and 1:26 later, Gilbert flipped a three-yard pass to Butch Rolle.
Peete replaced Gagliano with 2:34 left in the half. Sanders ran 15 yards and Peete completed a 21-yard sideline pass to Richard Johnson, setting up Sanders's 19-yard touchdown run and a 14-7 lead at halftime.
Johnson had four catches for 67 yards.
On their first possession of the third quarter, set up by Mel Gray's 29-yard punt return, the Lions went 35 yards in six plays for Wilson Hoyle's 24-yard field goal.Game summary, Page D8