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Ex-Coug star Harrison roars in Lions' win

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Running back Jerome Harrison helped the Detroit Lions cap a perfect preseason with a 16-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.

Don't start celebrating yet. The last time the Lions went 4-0 in the preseason, they became the NFL's first team to lose all 16 regular-season games in 2008.

Lions coach Jim Schwartz remained cautious.

"We've got a lot of work to do," Schwartz said at halftime. "It's all about being ready for the regular season. Let's leave accomplishments until we get to that."

Harrison had a solid showing in a bid to secure a roster spot once final cuts are made by Saturday. The six-year NFL veteran out of Washington State ran for 72 yards and set up the Lions' two first-half scoring drives.

His 47-yard run led to Maurice Stovall's 16-yard touchdown catch from Shaun Hill to open the scoring. Harrison's 17-yard run off right tackle set up Jason Hanson's 44-yard field goal that put the Lions up 10-0 with 3:15 left in the half.

Signed Aug. 9 after rookie second-round pick Mikel Leshoure tore his left Achilles' tendon, Harrison is competing with Aaron Brown to make the roster behind Jahvid Best and Maurice Morris. Hanson added 46- and 35-yard field goals in the second half.

The Bills (1-3) got a solid outing from linebacker Shawne Merriman, who had three tackles in two series. It was Merriman's first game since missing the past two with a groin injury.

Merriman didn't want to waste time, knowing he would not be on the field long in a final tuneup before Buffalo opens the regular season Sept. 11 at Kansas City.

"It felt good," Merriman said. "I'm glad I got the chance to get out there and play a little bit just to get into the routine of getting ready again. Now, the next time I line up, it'll be the real thing."

Merriman burst into the backfield to pull down Best from behind for a 1-yard loss on the Lions first series. On the next series, Merriman ran down Brown from behind to trip him up and limit him to a 10-yard gain on third-and-12.

With his team down 16-0, the Bills' Bruce Hall scored on a 1-yard plunge with 4:05 left, but Buffalo failed on 2-point conversion when Craig Davis bobbled Levi Brown's pass in the end zone.

The new-look Lions are seeking to turn around the woeful fortunes of a franchise that hasn't made the playoffs in 11 years -- tied with Buffalo as the NFL's longest current drought.

They're coming off a 6-10 finish, in which they won their final four games. It's a run Detroit is attempting to carry over into this year once it opens the regular season at Tampa Bay on Sept. 11.