Atchison’s turnover and penalty woes reared their ugly heads again in its 41-12 home loss against Louisburg Friday night at Amelia Earhart Stadium.
The defeat ended the Redmen’s two game winning streak and gave them their first home loss of the season.
The Wildcats (4-2) ran the ball all over Atchison (2-4) for most of the game offensively.
Coach Jim Smith gave credit to the Wildcats but also said his team just didn’t have the same effort on the defensive side of the ball like they did in their two previous shutout victories.
“We weren’t running to the ball well at all like we’ve been doing the last couple weeks,” Smith said. “They (Wildcats) ran hard all night also.”
Offensively Atchison had a number of unforced errors including fumbles on missed hand-offs, dropped snaps and mishandled pitches to running backs.
Two early Redmen fumbles were lost, giving Louisburg a short field and led to a 21-0 deficit in the first quarter.
Smith said his team must be smarter when it comes to recovering fumbles and not compounding errors.
“We talked about that at halftime that when the ball is on the ground you have to fall on it and not just pick it up,” Smith said. “We got some young kids out there that need to learn how to take a loss and it’s something we need to fix.”
Smith said his run heavy team isn’t built to deal with long down and distance situations.
“I said last week that we just can’t afford to get into second and long or third and long situations,” Smith said.
Smith said improving mentally on the field is the biggest issue for his team right heading into the last two weeks of the season.
“We’ve have to get better mentally,” Smith said. “Physically I think it’s there but the little things we need to start doing better in practice.”
The Redmen will look to rebound next week when travel to Basehor-Linwood for a 7 p.m. kickoff.