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After a government-mandate, Tony Nathan, a gifted high school football player, and other black students desegregate Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama in 1973. As cross burnings and riots erupt in the city, Tandy Gerelds, the Woodlawn Colonels football coach, struggles to ease racial tensions between his players. It's only when Gerelds allows Hank, an outsider, to speak to his team that real change begins. Hank, who has been radically affected by the message of hope and love he experienced at a Christian revival meeting, tells the players a "better way" is possible through following Jesus. More than 40 players, nearly the entire team, black and white, give their lives over to Jesus Christ and the spiritual change has a profound effect on the coach, the school and the community.