Apparently, injury has done what opposing defenses could not — stop Carolina Forest running back Dyverse Simmons.
The Panthers standout will miss the rest of the 2016 football season after tearing his ACL and MCL during last Friday night’s game against Hoggard (N.C.). Simmons’ injury occurred following a long run early in the contest, being tackled in a form which he had on so many occasions during his high school football career.
“I thought I dislocated my knee, and when I hit the ground it popped back into place,” he said. “So I thought I was fine, but I couldn’t walk when I tried to get up.”
Following a season in which he rushed for more than 2,000 yards, Simmons seemed well on the way to another productive season. Through three games, he had rushed for 534 yards and three touchdowns.
Since learning the extent of his injury, many have sent the Carolina Forest standout well wishes via Twitter. Among those was former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a pair of knee injuries — the last of which helped bring his football career to an end.
“Let’s turn this negative into a positive (at)DyverseSimmons,” Lattimore said, “we got you brother.”
It is the second big injury for Carolina Forest early in the 2016 football campaign. The Panthers lost Damon McDowell for the season early in their opener, the senior wide receiver breaking his leg.
Simmons’ loss serves as yet another blow to the team, one blessed with 20 seniors and extremely confident about what it could accomplish.
“It hurts, man … it really does,” Simmons said. “But I can’t go back in time and change it. What’s done is already done. God has a plan.”
Quarterback Matt Beale will now further become a focal point in the Carolina Forest offense. In addition to throwing for 301 yards and two touchdowns, he also is the Panthers’ second-leading rusher with 162 yards and four touchdowns — a team high.
Running back Anthony McAfee will also have his workload enhanced. To this point, he has rushed for 43 yards on 16 carries, with three of those ending in touchdowns.
Carolina Forest (3-0) will travel to Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium on Friday to take on Myrtle Beach (4-0). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.