Think of Keswick Christian's season as one long U-turn. After dropping their first three games by a whopping 94-6 margin, the Crusaders won five of their last six and are in the playoffs as the Class B, District 6 champion.
Think of freshman running back Jaylin Coleman as the guy who gave the steering wheel a jerk.
In what has been a breakthrough season, Coleman has emerged as the playmaker. He has more than 500 rushing yards as the go-to guy in Keswick's ground game.
Coleman will try to put up big numbers again in Friday's region semifinal home game against Orlando Pine Castle Christian.
"The biggest thing he gives us is speed," coach Rick Sanson said.
After a handoff, Coleman is liable to abuse defenders by 1) losing them with one of his arsenal of dekes, 2) keeping them at bay with a stiff-arm or 3) leaving them behind with a quick burst up the field.
He has demonstrated all of those skills in the second half of this season.
"We had a lot of new guys, and we were playing them at different positions at the beginning of the season," Sanson said. "We finally decided on Coleman as the feature guy at tailback and that's been a big help for us."
Coleman also has helped open up things for others on offense, such as his older brother, Jakobi Wheeler, a senior who has gained the tough yards inside as a fullback.
"We're a lot more productive than we were at the beginning of the season," Sanson said.