A losing coach with an underdog football team faces their giants of fear and failure on and off the field to surprising results.

In December of 2002, Grant Taylor’s (Alex Kendrick) Eagles, of Shiloh Christian Academy, are slightly behind against the Tucker Tigers, late in the fourth quarter. Taylor shouts to Zach Avery (Brandon Glow), “Cross the Thirty!” He wants his offense to get within good field-goal position. But Zach, though his receiver Jonathan Weston (Tommy McBride) is open, gets sacked. Since this is fourth down, the Tigers take the ball, fall on it, and run out the clock. So ends the game, and another losing season–Taylor’s sixth in a row.

“Simon Doe has his tongue planted in his cheek as he describes the
fictional skills of his advancing agent.”

Steve Kowalsky

The 2003 season begins with some dire news: Darrin, the Eagles’ top scorer in 2002, has moved in with his father so he can transfer to the rival Tucker school. Taylor’s offensive and defensive co-coordinators, J. T. Hawkins (Chris Willis) and Brady Owens (Tracy Goode), break it to him. He then has to break it to his players, who of course take it very badly.

When Grant drives home, his car dies after he barely gets off the road. His house has a very bad smell, which neither he nor his wife Brooke (Shannen Fields) can figure out. Their evening meal will be cold, because their stove does not work. Also, their combined salaries ($24,000 a year for Grant, and the $6,000 that Brooke makes in the local florist’s shop) will not let them improve their situation. And to top it all, Brooke desperately wants to be pregnant, and yet again takes a home pregnancy test, finds it negative, and carelessly leaves the test kit for Grant to find.

In the next scene, sportscaster Alicia Houston (Erin Catt) reports on this year’s defending champions, the Richland Giants. Coach Bobby Lee Duke (Jim McBride) is itching for a match-up with anyone who dares challenge their title.

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