McGlynn has Howell's offense clicking

McGlynn has Howell's offense clicking


McGlynn has Howell's offense clicking


Connor McGlynn heard a noise coming from his neck last Sept. 22 at Middletown South after he took a hard hit.

For a second, he did not know what was going on.

“At first, it was very scary because my whole neck just cracked,” said McGlynn, a senior quarterback at Howell High School.

Howell coach Derek Reichenbecher, also for a few seconds, thought the worst when he saw McGlynn lying on the ground.

“You kind of think about him, think about his future and think about his parents and what is going through their head,” said Reichenbecher, who is now in his second season as the Rebels’ head coach.

It turned out nothing was seriously wrong. Precautionary measures were done in regards to not moving his upper extremities and placing him on a stretcher.

“After like 15 minutes or so, I felt fine. I was ready to go back out there, but they wanted to take me to the hospital for precautionary reasons,” McGlynn said.

The X-rays on McGlynn’s neck were negative. He was back on the field for the Rebels’ next game two weeks later at Toms River East.

Eventually, then senior John Quinlan, who was going to be Howell’s starting quarterback for the 2012 season before a knee injury sustained in the Rebels’ final preseason scrimmage sidelined him for the first four games, came back and quarterbacked the team for the final six games of the season.

However, this season, there is no doubt McGlynn is the starting QB. He and his teammates got their season off to a rousing start after a 1-9 season in 2012 with a 39-18 win over Toms River North last Thursday. McGlynn had a big night as he threw for a career-high 367 yards and five touchdown passes.

“The first couple of drives (against Toms River North) we were three-and-out, but after the first touchdown we scored, we just kept jelling and going after that,” McGlynn said.

Jelling is something that never happened for Howell in 2012. Early in the season, not only was McGlynn trying to get his feet wet after going through most of the preseason expecting to be the backup, but Reichenbecher, who had replaced current Lacey quarterbacks coach Cory Davies as head coach, was breaking in several young offensive linemen.

“We were all trying to get used to it as a whole team and as whole unit. It was pretty tough,” McGlynn said.

“As a coach, I probably didn’t do a good enough job of preparing him for that situation,” Reichenbecher said. “It’s a lot, especially in this offense, where he’s not going to turn around and hand the ball to somebody else 30 times.”

The offense Howell has run since 2005 is the spread. The Rebels line up with four receivers on most plays. They sometimes line up with five receivers. It is an offense Howell had success with from 2005-10, when they went 44-18 with an NJSIAA Central Group IV championship in 2007 and two Shore Conference divisional titles.

“It definitely takes time (to learn), but once everyone is on the same page, it’s easy,” McGlynn said.

When Howell has been hitting on all cylinders in the time it has run the spread, several different receivers have gotten into the act. Six different receivers combined for McGlynn’s 23 completions against Toms River North.

However, it was clear senior Joey Schultz was McGlynn’s favorite target. Schultz had six receptions for 155 yards and four TDs. Three of Schultz’s TDs came on plays of 22 yards or more, including an 80-yarder.

McGlynn has a high standard to live up to. Four Howell quarterbacks from 2006-2010 were Asbury Park Press All-Shore first team selections. McGlynn is his own QB with his own abilities, but Reichenbecher said he sees some of the characteristics of Howell’s former All-Shore quarterbacks in McGlynn.

“I think, in his scrambling ability, he reminds me in some ways of Sean O’Reilly,” Reichenbecher said. “The one thing that helped (the Howell offense) a lot against Toms River North, is that when that initial read wasn’t there, he was able to make some plays. There were some important plays he made where he bought some time and somebody got loose in the zone and that’s how he made the play.”


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