MAYFLOWER — Mayflower sophomore running back Deon Simmons has helped push the Eagles into a 3A-2 state playoff berth.
Simmons had done most of his damage on the ground with 1,449 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 174 carries.
He also has 240 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 25 receptions.
"The team is pushing me to work harder," he said."During the game, I run faster and hard. Be as physical and mental as possible."
Simmons’ strong offensive play has played a role in Mayflower’s 6-4 overall record, a three-game improvement from last season, and a 4-3 record in A-2.
"We’ve been physical since the first game where we got beat by [Central Arkansas Christian] bad," he said. "Coach [Todd Langrell] gave us confidence to be strong, play hard and do well for the rest of the season."
The Eagles lost the season opener, 48-27, Aug. 30 against CAC at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
Since then, Mayflower has won six of nine games.
Along this journey, Deon gets to play on the same team as his twin brother, wide receiver Keon.
"It feels good to play with Keon," Deon said. "Opposing teams always say,‘wWatch No. 1 and 3.’ We’ve got some blockers pushing us on to make us effective."
Deon jokingly said his brother is always telling Deon to let him get some touchdowns.
Deon’s 25 receptions are first on the team, but Keon trails Deon by one reception.
Keon has scored nine total touchdowns, four on the ground, five through the air, and he does have more receiving yards than Deon with 399.
Because Mayflower finished as the four seed in the 3A-2 conference, it has a date Friday with Newport High School, the second 3A-3 seed in the 3A State Tournament.
Deon said the team just needed to work harder to get better for the game.
(Staff writer Andy Robertson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1246)