Overland Park — Five penalties for 45 yards don't exactly make Shawnee Mission South the bad boys of football.
Maybe just the dumb boys of football, coach Fred Merrill said.
"We made some mental errors that were ridiculous," said Merrill, whose Raiders lost to Lawrence High, 24-7, Friday night at SM South District Stadium.
Three of the five flags were especially costly.
In the first quarter, the Raiders roughed Lawrence punter Adam Green.
"We did have a little momentum there, and that was critical," Merrill said.
In the second quarter they were flagged for delay of game on fourth-and-inches at midfield, forcing them to punt rather than try for for a first.
And in the third quarter, they gifted Lawrence another first down when they were nailed for illegal participation on a third-quarter punt.
"THOSE ARE the things that have contributed to our, what would you call it, our demise," Merrill said.
SM South barely lived before it died. Since a 6-0 win over Leavenworth in their opener, the Raiders have lost three in a row.
"We're just not playing real well," the coach said.
Lawrence defender Darin White said SM South wasn't playing that hard, either.
"Their linemen weren't firing off the ball," he said. "Playing at linebacker, I didn't have to push past their linemen much."
That's the bad news. The good news for the Raiders is that, in their fourth game, they finally scored a touchdown. Going in, their offense consisted of four field goals.
"They were a lot more intense," Merrill said of his players. "If we'd have played that hard last week (against SM North), we'd have won. I think some of them don't realize they've got to get out and do it on the field and in the off-season, that you don't just turn it on and turn it off."
SINCE ITS 14-6 loss to Olathe North three weeks ago, Lawrence is 2-0. Last week's 25-0 win over SM Northwest was an improvement, and Friday's win might have been its best overall outing.
"It was steady," said split end Mike Reese. "It wasn't overly great, and it wasn't terrible."
Added running back Michael Cosey, who carried 20 times for 117 yards and two TDs, "Toward the end we had a couple of breakdowns on defense, but overall the offensive line blocked good, and the defense played good. We just want to keep it on track."