Paine returns to action today, and coach Greg Ruffin is looking forward to the competition.
The Lions opened their club football season four weeks ago in Augusta, but didn’t play another opponent until Sunday. Now, with their tilt against Orangeburg Calhoun Prep Academy, Paine will play in consecutive weeks.
“Now we can ride it out the way it’ll be next year when we go into conference play,” said Ruffin, whose team closes out the year with a third consecutive opponent next week. “So now we can put the kids in a regular schedule of how things truly go for us on a week-to-week basis.”
Paine (1-1) is coming off a 24-6 win at Gray Military Academy, with the key being the Lions finding more success with their offense. Ruffin said it’s just a matter of adding to the playbook as the season progresses.
“We kind of kept it simple for the first game,” he said. “I put a little more in offensively for this game. I put another scheme in defensively. I’m now able to expand the playbook. We’ve seen enough kids to know what we have and who can do what in certain situations.”
One concern Ruffin has is his kicking game. Terry Wiley Jr., a punter the team converted into a kicker this season, missed all four extra-point attempts against Gray Military. Ruffin said he’s planning to sign two kickers in the offseason.
“It’s on me,” he said. “For as many kids as I brought in here, I didn’t bring in any kickers. It is what it is.”
Paine faces an Orangeburg Calhoun Prep squad that’s 4-2 this season. The Lions will look to claim victory to put themselves in line for a winning season.
“They’ve got some athletes,” Ruffin said. “We just have to play solid. We’ve got a good football program. I think the potential here is unlimited.”