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Vailas earns nod as UNH's starting QB
UNH quarterback Andy Vailas looks for a receiver in an October 2012 game. (JAY REITER/UNION LEADER FILE)
The junior out of Bedford and Bishop Guertin High School of Nashua was named starting quarterback for the University of New Hampshire football team on Friday. Vailas and sophomore Sean Goldrich have competed intensely for the spot since the end of last season.
"It's probably the hardest position decision I've ever had to make as a head coach," McDonnell said on Friday evening. "That's how close this race has been. As I told the guys at the beginning of the summer, I hoped someone would take the job and run with it and make the decision for us."
Both played well through spring practice and again during fall camp and McDonnell said all along that he felt that either quarterback could win in the Colonial Athletic Association, as each did last year.
"Andy's very explosive and he has a great arm," McDonnell said. "He makes big plays and the thing about him is that he just seems like a big play waiting to happen. Not that Sean can't do that as well. He's made some big plays, too."
Vailas played a series against Holy Cross and led UNH to a touchdown.
"I'm sure somewhere along the line, Sean Goldrich will be needed by this team," McDonnell said. "Knowing these guys, I expect them both to embrace their roles like they did last year and I expect both of them to practice like No. 1 quarterbacks, which in my mind they are."
Both quarterbacks played and started games the rest of the way as the Wildcats went 8-4 and qualified for the Football Championship Subdivison tournament for the ninth straight season.