It's basically the premise of Friday Night Lights.
15-year-old kid didn't expect to play a varsity snap this season, then injuries threw him into a starting role early in the season.
That is the story of Luke Ferguson, freshman, QB1 at Central High School.
Ferguson will make his third start in a Bobcat uniform Friday against Clinton.
"It feels a little weird, but it ain't nothing I'm not able to do," Ferguson said at practice Tuesday.
He's a raw product on the field, one who's constantly honing his footwork. But the release time and arm strength are there, and legit.
"Luke's a really smart kid, really insightful kid, takes coaching really well," Coach Bryson Rosser said. "It's trial by fire...It's kind of hard when it's not necessarily planned and you get thrown in there. But he's done a great job of taking coaching from myself and building off the confidence of his teammates. They have all the confidence in the world in him to go out there and put us in a position to be successful."
Rosser never expected the team to be in this situation. He named Carter transfer Dakota Fawver the team's starting quarterback before the season. The sophomore went down with injury, leading to sophomore Eli Sharp taking over the reins against Sevier County. He got hurt, too.
But the Bobcats have turned those negatives into positives. Aided by an inspired performance from Ferguson, which saw him go 10-of-10 for 155 yards and three touchdowns, Central snapped its three-game losing streak in a win over the Seymour Eagles last Friday.
"It felt pretty good," Ferguson said with a smile. "I got to keep the game ball."
Rosser was encouraged by Ferguson's confidence in that game.
"We finally put some things together in the passing game," Rosser said. "There's nothing better than any kid with confidence, whether it's in the classroom or on the field. We're going to continue to try to build that and hopefully he'll continue to be better for it."
Ferguson has the support of his teammates; now, he prepares to lead them.
"I try to be more vocal," Ferguson said. "And if I see someone not giving full effort, I tell them to pick it up just a little bit, help the team out."
"I feel like we have good unity," Ferguson said. "And our motto is 'family.' We practice that a lot."