Welcome back: Raiders RB happy to be in the mix again

Robert E. Lee senior tailback Le Terrance Simmons rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown last week. Simmons missed all of last season after moving to Houston, but is back this year and anxious to make up for the lost time. (Chris Parry | Tyler Morning Telegraph)

There were no Friday Night Lights for Le Terrance Simmons last year.

Unless you count the ones he watched go by as he traveled to and from work while attending Fort Bend Marshall High School.

As a sophomore Robert E. Lee tailback, Simmons backed up friend and teammate LaQuintas Wallace to finish his first varsity football season with 37 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown.

Simmons was anxious to pick up where he left off as a junior, but had made a promise to his father that he would go and stay with him and see how that worked out.

"It was alright, but I didn't play football at all," Simmons said. "I just kept working out and not (getting frustrated), but then I came back (up) here hoping the coaches would let me come back."

Simmons missed all of two-a-days, saying he met with coach Darrell Piske during the first week of school.

"I'd heard about him and I'd received (college) letters on him and I was asking, ‘Who is this kid?'" Piske said. "I was told ‘He's not here.' So when we got back (at the start of the school) we were glad to have him.

"He's really one of those seniors who is going to be a leader for us."

Last week against Mesquite Horn, Simmons rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown. Wallace finished with 83 yards.

The backfield 1-2 punch of Wallace and Simmons can resume after a one-year hiatus.

"Me and LaQuintas have been side by side for a long time and for us to be finishing this season of high school football together is great," Simmons said. "LaQuintas, that's my main man right there. Inside school our outside school we are running over plays, going over highlights together; when me and LaQuintas get together, it's nothing but football."

With Simmons speed to go along with Wallace's power, Piske is excited about what these two tailbacks can accomplish.

"Thunder and lightning; that's what we're going to call them," Piske said.

Simmons was part of REL's 2010 team that reached the playoffs despite having a 2-8 record for the season. The playoff-clinching victory for the Red Raiders came against North Mesquite.

In his first game against John Tyler, Simmons was held to 13 yards on four attempts. He began last Friday with similar frustrations, losing yards on his first two rushing attempts. Facing second-and-12 and needing to give his team a spark, Simmons provided the longest rush of his career, bursting through the middle and racing up the seam before being stopped after a 46-yard gain.

It helped Lee score its first touchdown of the second half.

Just to show it wasn't a fluke; Simmons broke free for a 42-yard run later in the quarter which led to Simmons punching it in from 2 yards out for his first touchdown in two years.

"It was an eye opener for me," Simmons said. "To find them creases and know that I can still do what I used to do and still have got it, it was a major eye opener for me.

"We've got some great coaches and we are progressing; we are working hard every week. To be able to come back up here and play again; I am thankful. That's all I can say. I am very thankful."



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