Davidson, CHS seniors hope to win on senior night
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
When Blake Davidson was 12 years old he made a trip to Boise, Idaho and ended up falling in love.
While he was there to see some family members, Davidson, now a senior tight end/defensive end for the Carson Senators, paid a visit to the Boise State football field and got a his first look at the Smurf Turf.
“It was a blue field. I thought it was really cool. I’ve been in love with it ever since,” said Davidson, who will lead the Senators into tonight’s matchup with Fallon at Carson High School.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
Nicknamed “Bird Man” because of his rangy frame, the 6-foot-3, 180-pound Davidson has not only begun to fill out physically, he’s also found the key to unlocking the doors of his mind, a necessary development if he is to realize his dream of someday suiting up for Boise State.
“On a personal note, I’m very, very proud of the progress Blake has made in the classroom,” said first-year Carson head coach Blair Roman. “He’s starting to mature into a man. I’m really proud of him.”
“Last year I had horrible grades,” said Davidson, who has turned a 1.9 grade point average into a 3.0. “(Now) I’m doing my homework when I need to. It took me a while to figure it out. Once you get into it, it’s not too bad.”
Davidson, whose 17 receptions (for 178 yards and one touchdown) ranks second on the team, is now planning on using his bigger body and newfound discipline to capitalize on some letters he’s received from junior college and Division-II programs.
“I’m going to work on my size and speed,” said Davidson, who rotates with Taylor Silva at defensive end. “If I don’t get in at Boise State, I’ll put together a highlight video and play (JC or D-II) ball for two years.”
Davidson said he was going to be brought up to the varsity squad as a sophomore, but didn’t weigh enough. He started at defensive end as a junior and has developed into a two-way player this year.
“He’s one of the guys on the team who’s been a steady weapon for us all year,” Roman said. “One of the challenges we’ve had as a young offense is looking for a way to get him the ball. Blake has really come on since we started league (play).”
Whereas wideouts Ean Witter and Steve Fowzer have provided junior quarterback Jake Plattsmier with some shorter route options, Davidson has used his size and speed to bust through would-be tacklers for longer gains.
Roman said Davidson’s blocking ” especially on stretch (outside) plays ” has been responsible for some extra yardage for the Carson backfield.
“We also use him in motion and the wing and move him around to use as a blocker,” Roman said. “Defensively, he’s our go-to guy on passing situations; we get him in on pass rushing. He’s had a couple of big sacks this year. On top of that, we use him at outside linebacker. He’s been a versatile player for us.”
Roman and Davidson are hoping that carries over into tonight’s matchup with the Greenwave, which is 1-5 in the Sierra League and 1-7 overall. Not only do the Senators, (2-4, 2-6) need to beat Fallon to stay alive for postseason play, it would like to send their players out with a win on Senior Night.
Carson is coming off a heartbreaking 21-20 overtime loss to Galena and Fallon a 28-20 defeat to South Tahoe.
Roman said it was evident in Monday’s practice that Friday’s loss to the Grizzlies had taken some of the air out of the Senators’ tires.
“We’ve had a hard time putting that loss behind us,” Roman said. “I owe it to the seniors to get them a victory (tonight). As a coach, win or lose, you have to move on to next week for the kids. It’s not the easiest thing to do when you come off a loss like last week.
“You’ve got to get mentally ready to play. We need to make that adjustment and be ready to go from the opening whistle.”
Roman said the Senators would focus on triple-threat Greenwave senior Trent de Braga, who starts at free safety and wide receiver and returns kicks as well.
“He’s definitely their go-to guy in terms of the passing game,” Roman said of de Braga, who leads the Greenwave with 24 receptions for 402 yards and three TDs. “As a free safety, he’s impressive. He plays the run (well). And the third thing is he’s a good kick returner. It’s going to be a battle of kick returners this week with Fig (Carson’s Robert Figueroa) and him. We’re going to have to know where he’s at on the field.”
Fallon’s other top offensive threats are junior running back Andy Fiske (405 yards on 82 carries) and senior quarterback Dexter Daum (61-of-128 for 843 yards, six interceptions and four touchdowns). Roman said senior Garrett Adams leads a hard-hitting linebacker corps for Fallon.
The Senators will also be looking for their first victory on their new home field.
“We’ve had some tough home games where we’ve been very competitive, but to be honest with you, we don’t want to go out without a win on Senior Night with how hard our seniors have worked for us,” Roman said.
Davidson said he’s confident in his teammates, especially the younger ones.
“The juniors stepped up this week,” he said. “They want to win one for the seniors. It’s the last game we (seniors) will have on that field. We want a win.”