Its 35-0 season-opening win looked good from the stands, but those in the know said top-ranked Lawrence High wasn't pretty while slamming Shawnee Mission North on Friday night.
"It's different on the field," said junior running back Michael Cosey, who rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns. "In the stands it might have looked perfect, but in the field it wasn't working the way we'd like it to. We have a lot to learn. I'm just glad the first game is behind us."
Looking back on the game tapes brought assistant coach Bob Lisher to the same conclusions.
"It was a fair effort, but there were too many breakdowns at too many positions," Lisher said. "We have to do a better job coordinating the line and the backfield."
STILL, THE Lions rolled up 442 yards of offense while holding SM North to just 30 yards.
"Anytime you hold a team to 30 yards to have to be pleased," he said. "We've put in a lot of defense, and there are bound to be mistakes. But the kids are doing a good job adjusting, and it won't take long to jell."
Senior Brian Boyle, who started at linebacker, said he thought it would take longer than it has.
"It was one of our goals to shut them out," he said, "but I'm kind of surprised because of all the speed they have and because it was the first game."
Boyle, who transferred from Baldwin High and was making his LHS debut, impressed another first-time Lion, head coach Dick Purdy.
"He's improving all the time on the inside," Purdy said, "and nobody's going to get by him on the outside. He really snarfed up whatever came out there."
IN ADDITION to his defensive duties, Boyle relieved starting quarterback Tyrone Thompson in the third quarter.
"I was a little shaky at first," he said. "Ty told me how to read the defense. We just had to get the ball to the right place, and it did go pretty smooth for the first game."
Lawrence's football tradition did its part, too, center Matt McWilliams said.
"We were real confident on the line," McWilliams said. "Coach Wedd (Dirk, LHS assistant) told us to come out and give 100 percent and not worry about assignments because that would come, and it did."
As did Indian mistakes, which helped Lawrence roll to the easy win.
"A lot of times it wasn't what we did right," McWilliams said, "it was what they did wrong."
The Lions will do plenty right this season, Boyle predicted.
"I think we have the tools, and we have the coaches to teach us," he said. "Now we just have to listen and learn. I think defense will be a strong point."