Regardless of how Sam Houston fares in the rapidly approaching high school football playoffs, prolific senior quarterback Raymonte Prime and the Hurricanes already have had a wildly successful season.
Not that Prime and his teammates are content, mind you. Far from it.
One victory away from sweeping District 28-5A for the second year in a row, Sam Houston is also on the cusp of its first 10-0 regular season since 1989.
“Even if we finish the season undefeated, nobody’s going to give us a chance in the first round,” Prime said Thursday. “They’ll say, ‘Well, they can’t beat them. They’re going to break down.’ That’s really motivational for us. We’re never going to be satisfied until we win the (state) championship.
“Just this 9-0 part of the regular season, I mean we’ve played good teams, but that’s not our big goal. Our big goal now is to take it deep in the playoffs and hopefully win the championship. We all want to hope for that and we have to work hard for it, but it’s not going to be easy. It’s not going to be given to us. We’ve got to come out and give it our all.”
Prime has had a stellar season in the Hurricanes’ first year under Coach Patrick Brown, completing 129 of 185 passes for 2,428 yards and 35 touchdowns. He has thrown seven interceptions and is averaging 269.8 yards passing.
Prime adapted to Brown’s no-huddle, fast-paced spread offense like a duck to water, and has improved steadily each week during the season. He’s the catalyst for an offense that’s averaging 451.6 yards and 36.7 points.
“I think that the pace of the game is going faster for us,” Prime said. “Everything is just clicking. The offensive line is giving me time to throw and the receivers are catching the ball, making plays and going to the end zone. Everything is going like it should right now.”
The Hurricanes (9-0, 7-0) play winless Lanier (0-8, 0-6) in their regular-season finale at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Alamo Stadium. Regardless of the outcome, Sam Houston will face 27-5A runner-up Boerne Champion in the first round of the playoffs in two weeks.
History won’t be on the side of the Hurricanes, who have lost 14 of their last 16 bidistrict games. Kerrville Tivy rolled past Sam Houston 54-7 in the first round last year in Gary Green’s last game as the Hurricanes’ head coach.
Sam Houston has taken its game to a new level under Brown after finishing 8-3 last year, winning its first eight games by double-digit margins before rallying for a hard-fought 29-23 victory over Harlandale last week. The Indians jumped out to a 15-0 lead before the Hurricanes stormed back behind Prime, who threw four TD passes, including the game-winner with 1:16 left.
“Our linemen have gotten much better,” Brown said. “They were kind of a young group, and we’ve got a really good, young offensive line coach (Frank Martinez) who gets after those guys. With their improvement, Raymonte’s confidence has skyrocketed. People would say that Raymonte was basically an athlete playing quarterback, and now they say he’s a quarterback who’s a great athlete, which is a big deal.”
Prime has worked closely with offensive coordinator Leigh McWhorter, who has coached with Brown for 17 years, on and off the field to improve his game. Whether it’s during practice or while he’s watching video with McWhorter, Prime has left no stone unturned while preparing for an opponent each week.
Sam Houston’s offensive line is manned by junior center Taevon Thomas, senior guards Joseph Jones and Alejandro Andrade, senior tackle Jonvernun Curtis and junior tackle Khyri Harris (6-foot-5, 340 pounds).
“There’s no question that Joseph Jones is the leader of that group,” Brown said. “He takes a lot of pride in putting guys on their back. He’s kind of our emotional leader up front. He gets us going. Jonvernun is very undersized (6-0, 190), but quickness-wise, he may be, pound for pound, the best lineman on our team.”
Prime heaped plenty of praise on his offensive line.
“They’ve been doing real good,” Prime said. “You can’t ask them to be perfect every single play. But for most of the season, they’ve been nearly perfect. My stats are a reflection of what they’ve done. You can only imagine what they do and how hard they work in practice to get prepared for the games.”
Prime has spread the wealth as a passer, completing TD passes to eight different receivers.
“At the beginning of the season, the first route was open so that’s where I usually went,” he said. “But as you go on and watch more film, everyone is beginning to figure out what we’re trying to do, so I have to take more time to look at other receivers.”
The Hurricanes’ top receivers are junior Jawon Anderson (25 catches, 666 yards, 9 touchdowns, senior Travon Vaughns (26-486-6), senior Trenton Jones (24-536-6) and senior DeWayne Brown (21-309-2).
Prime has gone 19-11 since becoming Sam Houston’s starting quarterback before the second game of his sophomore season in 2013.
“He’s like a sports car that just needed a little tuning up,” Brown said. “I think that being with our offensive coordinator has really helped him. I think those two really meshed together.”
Prime’s impressive stats reflect that.