For much of the season, tight end Chase Blueberg was the forgotten man in the Carson High offense.
He opened the season with two no-catch games. After a one-catch effort against McQueen, he went three more games without a reception.
In the last three games, however, he has become one of the Senators’ top receivers with eight catches for 146 yards and two scores. He had a 49-yard TD reception in the win over Manogue, a season-high six caches in the 19-13 overtime win against Douglas and a 12-yard first-quarter TD catch in last week’s 55-42 playoff win over Spanish Springs.
The Senators hope that production continues when they host the Damonte Ranch Mustangs in a Division I regional playoff game at 7 p.m. today.
“I don’t really know why (the lack of catches),” Blueberg said prior to Tuesday’s practice. “We were running a lot of the same plays all year. It might be (QB Garrett Schafer) seeing the whole field better and not getting locked onto one receiver. At times I think I’ve been open. Coaches have told me I’m getting open. We’ve been able to get together the last few games, though.”
Blueberg is like any receiver. He wants the ball. He hasn’t, however, let the lack of catches affect the rest of his game. He’s done a solid job in run-game blocking.
“He’s had a couple of really good games,” Carson coach Blair Roman said. “He’s had some success with certain plays. I think Garrett has gotten more comfortable with him over the past three or four games. Even though he wasn’t catching passes, you could see Chase develop in practice.”
And, having a good tight end can enhance Carson’s already dangerous offense, according to Roman.
“Chase runs pretty well, so he can get downfield vertically,” Roman said. “It’s especially helpful in play-action situations.”
It’s not surprising that Blueberg has had success catching the ball. He was a wide receiver in 2012, though he did see some action at tight end.
“Catching the ball has never been a problem for me,” Blueberg said. “As a wide receiver, the main thing is catching the ball.”
The biggest transition from wide receiver to tight end is obviously the physical part of the job. At wide receiver, you usually block cornerbacks and safeties. At tight end, you get linebackers, defensive ends and an occasional defensive tackle.
“I wasn’t wild about the switch initially,” Blueberg said. “You want to catch the ball. I’ve gotten to like tight end. It’s been a good fit for me and it’s best for the team, and that’s the most important thing.
“Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s hard. It depends on the play calls. If plays are called to the weak side, I just have to wall off people so they don’t get pressure from the back side. On the strong side, we’re running plays right off my block, and I’ve got to make that block. I’m going up against linebackers and defensive ends.”
Blueberg has been limited to offense and special teams this season.
“Chase provides us some depth,” Roman said about the defensive end postion. “The way Dakota (Baker) and Ryan (Doherty) have been playing, I’ve just stayed with them.”
Doherty is tied for the team lead in sacks with four, while Baker has two.