Lions break through on homecoming, earn first win
Paine 38, Edward Waters 14
By Chris Gay
Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014
After 52 years, the wait is over.
Quarterback Loranzo Hammonds engineered a pair of second-half scoring drives and Paine’s big-play defense stuffed Edward Waters in a 38-14 homecoming win Saturday at Lucy C. Laney Stadium.
“We’ve been waiting on this the whole season,” defensive back Diquan Richardson said. “We finally got over that hump and finally got that win. We just fought back hard and never gave up.”
Paine (1-6), playing its first collegiate season since 1962, was close to getting its first victory earlier in the season, losing its first three games by a combined nine points. The Lions have struggled with turnovers all season, and they committed two against Edward Waters (3-5). But Richardson recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass. Akevias Gilmore also recovered a fumble for Paine.
The Lions’ defense held the Tigers to less than 200 yards of offense, clamping down in the second half. Edward Waters managed just 15 total yards after halftime.
Paine backup quarterback Trevous Reynolds provided a spark off the bench, completing 7 of 14 attempts for 62 yards before leaving the game just after halftime with a possible concussion. Hammonds, who started the game, came back and finished 6 of 12 passing for 85 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
“(Reynolds) played well, made some throws,” Paine coach Greg Ruffin said. “We probably would’ve rode the game with him. But it was good to see Loranzo come back in and throw that touchdown and fight his way back. We’ve had some musical chairs at the quarterback position, but even after seeing him make some mistakes and fight through, I was proud of him today.”
Hammonds started the game and struggled to move the offense. His 13th interception of the season led to an Edward Waters touchdown in the second quarter. Later in the quarter, Reynolds entered the game and moved the Lions 69 yards before fumbling into the end zone on second and goal from the 1. Tigers defender James Reese scooped up the loose ball, returning it 60 yards before fumbling. Edward Waters’ Kevin Hutchings grabbed the loose ball and rumbled 40 yards down the sideline for a 14-0 lead.
But just before halftime, Reynolds engineered a 10-play, 59-yard scoring drive. Isiah Jenkins punched it in from the 1 to trim the deficit in half.
“We came out flat in the first half,” wide receiver Don Quarles said. “In the second half, we became a whole different team.”
Reynolds left the game on Paine’s first drive of the third quarter after having his helmet knocked off. Hammonds re-entered the game and later tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Austin Beamus to tie it. Early in the fourth quarter, Hammonds led a 7-play, 68-yard scoring drive aided by a defensive pass interference call that nullified a 99-yard, pick-six. Stephen Sawyer scored from the 1 to give the Lions their first lead at 21-14.
Wisdom Nzidee’s 32-yard field goal extended the lead.
Richardson picked off a Tyler Mahla at the 30 and returned it to the goal line, fumbling into the end zone. Jarod Richardson pounced on the ball for the touchdown, pushing the Lions’ lead to 31-14. With 6:39 remaining, Paine coasted to victory.
“It’s exciting,” Ruffin said. “It’s pretty much what we thought we’d be able to do, week in week out. The ball bounced our way today.”http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/college/paine-college/2014-10-18/lions-break-through-homecoming-earn-first-win