Conwell quietly leads Oakland Mills

October 28, 1994|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

Even at 6 foot 3, 180 pounds, Oakland Mills junior quarterback Irving Conwell never seems to get noticed.

Among the quarterbacks in Howard County, Conwell finds himself behind Howard's DeLawn Parrish, Hammond's Tim Spruill and Sean Lookingbill of Glenelg in the passing statistics.

"He definitely does get shortchanged here and his stats are comparable to anyone in the county," said coach Ken Hovet, whose Scorpions have won four straight to raise their record to 5-2. "Anywhere else and people are talking about what a great quarterback he is."

While Conwell ranks behind county passing leader Lookingbill by 253 yards, he tops everyone in that group with a 56.4 completion percentage and 14.9-yard average per completion.

"I feel if I passed 20 times a game like the other quarterbacks around here, I would get more recognition," said Conwell, who is 44 of 78 for 656 yards, five touchdowns and only one interception. "Plus we have better receivers than everybody else, so I think I could pass for 200 yards a game. But I usually hand the ball off to Jake [Daft] and you know what he does with the ball."

Daft is sixth in the area with 79 points scored and fifth with 1,016 yards rushing, which overshadows Conwell as the Scorpions' top offensive threat.

Conwell's main priority is to coordinate an abundance of talent in a technical wing-T offense. Besides Daft, Conwell has speed specialists Fardan Carter, Paul Brown and Sam Smith as passing targets.

They have led Oakland Mills to a 4-0 record in the county, outscoring county opponents 127-20.

"It helps a lot having all those great athletes around me," Conwell said. "I don't have to worry about messing up with them around."

However Conwell, who transferred from Hammond this season, has exceeded expectations with his skills at a position he last played on junior varsity two years ago. Last year, he played wide receiver for the Golden Bears but switched to quarterback at Oakland Mills because that was the only available slot open.

"He surprised me," Hovet said. "He's a smart kid and learned our system quickly. Now teams can't put an eight-man front against us, because he can throw the throw the ball deep."

His best asset to the Scorpions is his defensive ability. An All-Howard County first-team selection at defensive back last year as a sophomore, Conwell is the most experienced defender in the county.

The Scorpions have one of the most balanced backfields in the county with Conwell and Smith, who have combined for six interceptions. While Hovet expected a sound defender when Conwell arrived, he didn't know of Conwell's strong leadership on the field.

"He is our quarterback on the defense as well as the offense," Conwell said. "I didn't know how much knowledge he had of the game. He tells players on the field where to stand if they are a little out of position."

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