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Junior Tyler Degen will start at quarterback for Fivay in Friday's season opener against River Ridge, Falcons coach Chris Taylor said Monday.
Degen and sophomore Eric Vitale had been battling since the spring for the starting job for Fivay's first full season of varsity football.
"He's earned the right to do it," Taylor said of the 6-foot-1, 155-pound Degen. "He showed some great leadership.
"It was just an opportunity. When he performed, he played a little better. That's what you're looking for in a starting quarterback."
Degen and Vitale alternated series in the Falcons' 57-14 loss to Sunlake in Friday's preseason game.
Degen took the first snaps finished 6-of-11 passing for 44 yards. He hit Kevin Faulkner with 22 seconds left in the first half for a 12-yard touchdown - Fivay's only varsity score of the game. Vitale finished the contest 1-of-5 passing for 11 yards.
"They're 15- and 16-year-old kids, and you put all this pressure on them," Taylor said. "You hate to do that to them, but when you have to make a decision, it comes down to who played a little better. We felt that Degen had earned the right to get the start."
With one decision over, Taylor and the coaching staff must make another - where to put Vitale. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound sophomore is quick and athletic, so the Falcons will tinker with him at wide receiver and defensive back, in addition to his role as backup QB.
"We're taking an opportunity to see if he can fit in and play some other positions," Taylor said. "We know he has some experience playing in the defensive backfield when he was younger, and being a smart quarterback, that'll help in that situation."