Dawson's Creek stud Van Der Beek plays Moxon, the backup QB for a small Texas high school where football is life and the coach (an intense Voight) a god. For all his chiseled charisma, Moxon is really a bookworm whose most coveted goal is getting into Brown University. Everything changes when he's forced into the limelight and--wouldn't you know it--becomes a gridiron hero.
Naturally, adversity occurs both on the field and off, causing friction between Moxon, his dictatorial coach and football-hating love interest. All this teeters on the edge of extreme hokiness, but Van Der Beek's understated performance and Caan's hotdogging are refreshing enough to raise Varsity Blues above its clichés.