AUGUSTA, Ga. (Paine Sports Information) – Paine College football is back and stronger than ever as the team pulled off a decisive 39-0 victory over the Gladiators from Orangeburg-Calhoun Prep on Nov. 2 at Laney Stadium. This win marks the first home win for the 2-1 Lions since making their return to football this season after a 51-year absence.
Paine's defense was on fire handing Orangeburg Prep their first shutout of the season. The offense also delivered with quarterback Loranzo Hammonds, Jr. rushing for one touchdown and throwing three more to three different receivers.
Orangeburg Prep won the coin toss and decided to defer until the second half leading to Paine College scoring on the opening drive of the game. Hammonds led the Lions 65 yards in a little over three minutes and ran the ball into the end zone on a 43-yard rush to give Paine a 6-0 lead fresh into the game.
Hammonds connected with Jabari Menefee in the second quarter on a 37-yard pass to put more points on the board for the Lions. Terry Wiley, Jr. made the PAT giving Paine a 13-0 lead. Later in the second half, Juan Neloms picked off Justice Walker's pass and returned it to the end zone. His score was called back, however, after an illegal block call on the Lions after the interception. Paine wasted no time getting back to the end zone as Danny Wohlgemuth was next up on the receiving end of a Hammonds touchdown pass during the second quarter. Wohlgemuth caught a 16-yard pass and Wiley again made the extra point attempt bringing the score to 20-0. Just seconds before the half, B.J. London caught a 33-yard pass from Hammonds that put the Lions up 26-0 at halftime.
On a bad Gladiators snap in the third quarter, Paine linebacker Vincent Thomas recovered Orangeburg Prep's fumble for a touchdown. After Wiley's successful PAT, the Lions led the Gladiators 33-0 heading into the fourth quarter.
Paine's final touchdown was a 52-yard pass caught by Austin Beamus from Hammonds on a quick scoring drive. Alex Kelly set up the score with a 34-yard punt return bringing Paine to their own 48-yard line.
The Lions will play their final game of the season on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. against Jireh Prep. The game will be played at Laney Stadium. Tickets can be purchased from www.paineathletics.com or the Paine College Business Office on the first floor of Haygood-Holsey Hall.
Head football coach Greg Ruffin
On the game
"I was somewhat pleased. At times we looked pretty good and then we had a couple of instances where we played down in the second half and did not look like we wanted to close it out. We had a substantial lead and I just wanted to see the execution part of it and how we handle things when we are up. Sometimes when you get up you see how bad the kids are going to keep pressing. We let down a little bit offensively in the second half. The defense played a great ball game today getting a shutout."
On the play of Paine's receivers
"I was proud to see our receivers make some plays even though we had some drops today. At the end of the day we are a first year program and there are still things to work on. It's all a teachable moment and we want to continue to get these guys better."
On playing hard until the end
"We do have to quit leaving points on the field. Even with a 39-0 victory today, we left points on the field. That's something we have to continue to work on."
On quarterback Loranzo Hammonds, Jr.
"He's getting better. He's not holding the ball as much. His athleticism really helps him a lot. He made some plays on the run and stood in the pocket and made some throws. It's a process. It's a process for all of the guys no matter what position. One thing I can say is that he's not the same as he was in week one and in week three he's not the same as he was in week two.
On the significance of winning the first home game since 1962
"I don't really look at it that way. I think it's all about teaching. You're teaching, you're leading and you're guiding. All of that comes with it if you are doing what you are supposed to. Winning is what we are supposed to do and that's what we work hard to do. You are supposed to play to win. I want the kids to be elated but I just want to take a business approach as we continue to build this program."
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