For so many quarterbacks, it's the only position they've known.
As if born into the role.
Not Andrew Rieves, however. The sandy, spike-haired, Navarre High senior with the engaging personality has been a quarterback by default since his eighth grade youth league team.
But he plays like a natural as illustrated Friday night when his guile, toughness and leadership meshed in perfection to lead the Raiders in a 20-12, second-half comeback victory against Milton in the Region 1-6A semifinal.
In a three minute, third-quarter span, Rieves threw for one touchdown and rushed for another to turn the game in Navarre's favor and quiet an overflow crowd at Milton's Haywood Hanna Stadium.
"We have been in so many tight ballgames this year, so we already know if it's tight we're going to be able to pull it out for sure," Rieves said. "We pulled one out at Crestview (Oct. 19) in the final 50 seconds.
"Our defense has been so rock solid all year and we knew if they kept it tight we could come out with the win."
As expected, this was an enthralling game with back-and-forth emotion and momentum swings.
But with the game on the line, it was Rieves who proved decisive. The confidence Rieves exhibits is especially pronounced when considering he is really a defensive player by trade.
He was planning to stay at linebacker and safety, the positions he played last year, before a knee injury to projected starter Robby Miller and his backup transferred out of Navarre.
Just like in youth league, Rieves was summoned to the rescue. He's responded by leading Navarre to its best season in school history and advancement into the final eight in this classification.
"It all started this summer when all the seniors gathered together for a meeting and we decided we needed to all buy in or not waste anyone's time," Rieves said.
From that point, this team has been vice-like in unity under first-year coach Jay Walls.
But when it comes to these kind of games, the pressure of the playoffs, the make-or-break situations on nearly every play, it always falls back on the quarterback.
You have to win with the guy under center. Rieves proved more than capable, connecting with playmaker Jordan Leggett, using his strong running skills and making perfect decisions.
One of the best was a third down pass to Gatlin Casey with 3:04 remaining that converted a first down, killed more clock and helped seal the game.
"That was all him right there," Walls said. "We were trying to get the ball to Jordan and he recognized (Milton defense) rolled to Jordan and knew Gatlin would be wide open ... just a big play."
Not only that, but Navarre was hampered with star running back Jay Warren nursing a right shoulder injury that kept him from being effective in the second half.
Warren and Rieves have been best friends since eighth grade when Rieves was told by coaches to just hand the ball to him, rather than attempt passes.
"We had run out of quarterbacks," Rieves said. "So they asked me to do it."
That's how it has been ever since.
"He is physically and mentally tough," Walls said. "His work ethic is so good and he just plays so smart."
Now, the Raiders are nearing a place they have never been in the school's football history.
"Just crazy," said Rieves, meaning it in a good way. "We are staying humble. I know on Monday we will be ready to go back to work."
Rieves will be back at quarterback, too, breaking the mold of a position that demands so much.