MARYVILLE, Mo. — For most of his life, T.J. Schieber has been more of a part of helping score touchdowns rather than scoring touchdowns.
Playing at small-school powerhouse Hamilton, Schieber spent three years playing offensive line before moving to tight end his senior season in 2011.
His final season he caught only eight passes and had a touchdown, but his duties as another blocker paid giant dividends. The offense featured Derrick and Devan Hughes and Kellen Overstreet, a trio that helped the Hornets run for 3,765 yards.
Now at Northwest Missouri State, Schieber still is doing his part in helping make another offense successful. The senior tight end is one of the main blockers for a unit that is churning out points at a clip of 50.1 per game — best in the MIAA and third in Division II.
“I blocked a lot at Hamilton, too. That is kind of what I have done my whole life,” Schieber said.
Schieber missed the game last week against Northeastern State but should be able to go this week when the No. 1-ranked Bearcats play at Lindenwood on Saturday. In his absence last week, Clayton Wilson drew a start — the first tight end other than Schieber to start at that spot this season.
Austin Eskew, Marqus Andrews and Kyle Raunig were other tight ends that played during the 74-29 thrashing of Northeastern State.
Schieber, who wears No. 90 — one number higher than his Hamilton uniform — has been only a part of four passing plays this year, gaining 23 yards.
“I enjoy blocking, it is kind of what I have done the last three or four years here,” Schieber said, “I enjoy it, and I don’t really need the ball thrown to me. I’m not very fast, if you have watched me play.
“Clayton catches the passes that I don’t. I do the blocking that Clayton doesn’t, and Marqus has done a little bit of both. He has looked really good and is playing well for us right now.”
For an offense that has passed for 2,053 yards, Schieber plays a bigger part in a running game that has racked up 1,565 yards and has scored 22 touchdowns.
He caught only two passes during the Bearcats’ championship run last season, but hauled in both catches and his lone touchdown in the playoff game against West Georgia.
His only other touchdown came against Emporia State in 2014.
“He doesn’t show up a lot in the stat sheet,” Northwest coach Adam Dorrel said. “He is a lunch pale, hard-hat type of kid. He comes to work every day and he is from a great high school football program in a small, little town. He is the epitome of a great student athlete at Northwest Missouri State.”
Schieber has been on the MIAA Academic Honor Roll the past two years and recently learned he has been accepted into UMKC’s pharmacy school.
He interviewed with the school the same week the Bearcats played in Edmond, Oklahoma, which meant he had to find his own way down for the Central Oklahoma game, where he caught one pass for 8 yards in a 56-10 win.
He was posed a question that he got again during Tuesday’s Northwest media luncheon.
Why did he want to be a pharmacist?
“I enjoy the science behind it, I’ve always been a science guy,” said Schieber, the 2011 News-Press defensive player of the year. “Organic chemistry, I enjoy the structure and what not. Synthesis routes of drugs and how they interact with the body and that sort of thing. I wanted to learn a little bit more about it.”