By Mark Ambrogi
Greenwood Community High School senior quarterback Brock Riddle is putting it all together in his third year as a starter.
“Physically putting on a bunch of muscle and speed makes me a lot more versatile,” Riddle said of his biggest improvement.
Heading into the Sept. 29 game with visiting Decatur Central, the 6-foot-3 Riddle has completed 90 of 155 passes (58 percent) for 1,535 yards. He has thrown 20 touchdowns with just three interceptions for the Woodmen (4-2).
In 10 games last season, Riddle completed 88 of 91 passes (46.1 percent) last season with 12 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He connected on 35 of 77 passes (45.5 percent) as a sophomore.
“The key has just been taking what the defense gives me and making smart throws,” Riddle said of improving his completion percentage. “It helps a lot having more options to throw to since we are in more of a spread offense this year.”
In addition, Riddle has run for 421 yards on 68 carries, including five TDs, in the six games.
“The past two years I had negative rushing yards on the season so me running the ball more has helped a lot and makes it a lot harder for defenses to game plan to stop our run attack,” Riddle said.
Greenwood has employed a balanced offensive attack this season under first-year head coach Justin Boser.
“It’s been a lot of fun to play in this offense, it’s a very high-power offense,” he said. “Gives me more responsibility but also more options.”
Boser said Riddle has been a strong leader.
“He learned the offense and helped teach it to the receivers,” Boser said. “Each week, it’s about him making mental improvements. He has a really strong arm. His legs have been super helpful for us this year. Him in the running game has made a huge difference for us.”
His play was crucial Sept. 22 in Greenwood’s 44-41 victory over Perry Meridian. He threw for 298 and four touchdowns and ran for one touchdown.
“We had a pretty strict game plan, and he came out and executed the plan,” Boser said. “He got away from it a couple of times, but just a couple of reminders to him. He got back on it and led that game-winning drive with the run game and him. He mentally stayed up after we got that touchdown called back, we thought we won the game on. He scrambled for a big play to put in position to make a play in the end zone with plenty of time left. Mentally making the correct play down after down has been the biggest improvement.”
Riddle is optimistic on what the Woodmen can achieve the rest of the season.
“I have high expectations for this team because I know how hard we have worked,” he said. “I think we can beat anyone we step on the field with if we play how we know we can.”
Riddle recently got a scholarship offer from Indiana State, his first from a Football Championship Subdivision program.
“Getting my offer from Indiana State felt good knowing that I’m catching some attention from coaches now,” Riddle said. “My recruiting is still pretty slow, but some coaches are starting to catch on.”
Boser said Riddle was able to turn some heads with his throws going into some different camps.
“I know Indiana State wanted to see him in this new offense and what he would do,” Boser said. “They monitored him and ultimately decided to give him a full scholarship offer. That’s a testament to what he’s done. That’s the first Division I offer and hopefully there are more to come.”
THE RIDDLE FILE
NAME: Brock Riddle
SCHOOL: Greenwood Community High School
COLLEGE PLANS: Plans to play football and major in business
HOBBIES: Playing Madden NFL video game
FAVORITE ATHLETE: Patrick Mahomes
FAVORITE MUSICIANS: Zach Bryan, Drake
FAVORITE VACATION SPOT: St. Petersburg, Fla.
PARENTS’ NAMES: Chad and Lynn Riddle