AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: McCollum, Sam Houston.
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Sam Houston’s rapid-fire offense made it difficult for McCollum to keep pace Sept. 18 at Alamo Stadium, and that was part of the plan.
The Hurricanes, who improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2011, barely gave the Cowboys time to catch their breath by scoring 31 points on 12 offensive plays in the second quarter and 14 more on three snaps in the third. The end result was a 64-28 win that left Sam Houston (4-0, 2-0) tied for first in District 28-5A with Harlandale (2-2, 2-0).
“We want to push the ball offensively and score points quickly,” Sam Houston coach Patrick Brown said. “That’s going to provide them with bad field position which, in turn, will force them to do things they’re not comfortable doing – and that’s throwing the ball downfield.”
McCollum (1-3, 1-1) finished the first quarter trailing just 14-7. Senior back Mike Ramirez broke an unusual 32-yard touchdown run with 1:17 remaining in the quarter. Ramirez was in the grap of a Sam Houston defender and headed toward the ground when he managed to spin off the player’s back and continue to the end zone.
It was the Cowboys standout’s only run of more than 10 yards against an inspired Hurricanes defense, led by senior nose tackle Chance Russell. Ramirez finished with 95 yards on 17 attempts. McCollum quarterback Jordan Ortega, who ran for two touchdowns, had a team-best 113 rushing yards on 22 tries.
“He’s a great player and their quarterback is a great player,” Brown said, “but our (defensive) front four is pretty special. I don’t know if there’s a defensive line in San Antonio like them. Chance Russell is unbelievable.”
So, too, was Sam Houston’s 1-2 offensive punch of Raymonte Prime and Devin Harris. They helped the Hurricanes amass 528 total yards.
Harris turned in perhaps the best performance of his career, starting with 59 yards on three carries that culminated with a 33-yard scoring run on the Hurricanes’ first possession. Prime (13 of 15, 266 yards) passed 31 yards to Jawon Anderson (54 yards, 3 catches) and 36 yards to Dewayne Brown on their second series, before capping the 90-yard drive with a two-yard dash.
“Raymonte is a great quarterback,” said Harris, who finished with 157 rushing yards on 12 attempts. “I owe it to him. If he wasn’t looking for me, I wouldn’t have had that touchdown.”
Harris referred to his 68-yard touchdown reception with 5:34 until halftime, which was preceded by 28 and 43 yard scoring passes to Brown (132 yards, 5 receptions). They gave Sam Houston a 31-7 advantage, ahead of a dizzying flurry of points.
Ortega answered with a one-yard dive with 2:27 left in the half. Twenty-three seconds later, Trenton Jones was in the end zone on a 37-yard pass play from Prime. Sam Houston recovered the onside kick and only 36 seconds elapsed before Harris notched a seven-yard touchdown run.
“I got into a little trouble the first three games for being late to practice,” Harris said. “Now I’m starting to get into a rhythm..”
The Hurricanes had a 44-14 halftime lead.
Fifty seconds into the second half, Taveon Jones scored on a 45-yard interception return. Sam Houston’s lead expanded to 58-14 with 1:57 left in the third quarter when Harris broke a 60-yard run for his fourth touchdown.
“We’ve never scored 62 points before,” Harris said. “That’s a first for us. It’s a great feeling, just to get the win. I owe it to my line. They really were incredible.”
Sophomore Josh Harris scored the Hurricanes’ final touchdown on a 13-yard run with 8:22 left in the third quarter. It was Sam Houston’s highest scoring output since a 74-0 win over Poteet Sept. 24, 2011.
“We’ve come together as a team and are playing well,” Devin Harris said. “That’s something Coach Brown has developed. Not one player is more important than any other, from the seniors down to the freshmen.”
One area in need of improvement for Sam Houston is points after touchdown. Thomas Jones and Hector Carrion, a soccer player playing his first football game, combined to make just four of 10 attempts.
“We’ve got to fix our extra-point situation,” Brown said. “I thought, at the end, they calmed down – but it’s a big concern. I was going to keep (kicking) until they got it right. In the first round of the playoffs, you can lose the game because you can’t make your extra points.”
For McCollum, Ortega completed 6 of 15 passes for 122 yards. The Cowboys’ leading receivers were Allen Ojeda (59 yards, 3 receptions) and T.J. Martinez (57 yards, 2 receptions).
Martinez scored on a 49-yard pass play with 11:52 remaining. The senior caught a 15-yard pass from Ortega in the right flat and took it down the sideline.