The Gloucester City High School Lions football team, for decades an athletic powerhouse, has fallen on hard times. A mysterious stranger, McGrogan, visits Gloucester City right before football practices begin in August and makes a deal with a naive young musician, John Oxley, that promises to to restore the Lions to their former glory– but may cost Oxley his life and soul.
Oxley tries to balance a budding romantic relationship with a moody artist with his newfound star as the town’s football hero.
The romance is further complicated by the attention Oxley suddenly receives from a beautiful new girl at the high school. The thrill of high school athletic competition mingles with young love and the frightening dark arts practiced by McGrogan. Allegiances shift, the lines between hero and villain are blurred, and the small town rises to defend its honor.
Nothing gets resolved until the final pages.