Friday, Jun 22, 2018
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Ansah helps Lions topple Jets


Lions running back Reggie Bush escapes to the outside during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Jets. The game was Bush's debut for Detroit, which signed him in the offseason.


DETROIT — Mark Sanchez had an interception returned for a touchdown, and Geno Smith left with an apparent ankle injury.

Not an ideal start for the New York Jets.

Lions rookie Ziggy Ansah looked like a natural in his exhibition debut when he intercepted Sanchez's pass and ran it back 14 yards for a touchdown, and Detroit went on to a 26-17 win over the Jets on Friday night. Smith, the rookie from West Virginia who is Sanchez's main competition at quarterback this preseason, exited early in the third quarter after appearing to hurt his right ankle.

Sanchez bounced back to throw a touchdown pass before leaving the game after three offensive series. He went 10 of 13 for 125 yards. Smith was 6 of 7 for 47 yards but did not lead any scoring drives.

Detroit's Matthew Stafford played two series, going 3 of 8 for 58 yards and leading the Lions to a field goal. All three of his completions went to Calvin Johnson.

Ansah grew up in Ghana, playing soccer and basketball. He put on football pads for the first time three years ago, and now the Lions hope he'll become a big part of their defense. Detroit took the 6-foot-5 defensive end with the No. 5 pick in this year's draft.

Ansah was able to get his hands up quickly when he intercepted Sanchez's screen pass, and his return to the end zone made it 7-0.

The Lions didn't answer all of their questions, either. The Stafford-to-Johnson connection looked as good as ever, but Detroit needs other receiving threats. Nate Burleson didn't catch a pass, and Ryan Broyles — who is recovering from a right knee injury — didn't play.

Reggie Bush made an immediate impression after signing with the Lions in the offseason. On his first carry, Bush slipped to the outside and jumped over cornerback Kyle Wilson, who missed completely on a diving tackle attempt. The run gained six yards and drew some ooohs and ahhhs from the crowd.

Detroit must finally replace longtime kicker Jason Hanson, who retired. David Akers made a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter, and Norwegian sensation Havard Rugland added kicks of 49 and 50 yards in the second half. Rugland became a hit because of a YouTube video he posted last year that showed him kicking a football to a friend on a boat in a lake, among other tricks.

Shaun Hill, Detroit's backup quarterback, went 11 of 18 for 136 yards and a touchdown.

Toledoans Sanzenbacher, Davis score touchdowns

■ ATLANTA — Dane Sanzenbacher had a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 36-yard scoring catch from backup quarterback John Skelton as Cincinnati defeated Atlanta 34-10 Thursday night in a preseason game.

Sanzenbacher, a Central Catholic graduate, finished with two catches for 59 yards.

■ NASHVILLE — Kirk Cousins threw a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Fred Davis to help Washington get past Tennessee 22-21 Thursday.

Davis, a Rogers graduate, made two catches for 14 yards.

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