Jake Perlman
April 11, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

For 12 years, De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., never lost a football game. Then, in 2004, the record-breaking streak ended. When the Game Stands Tall, based on Neil Hayes’ nonfiction book, details how the Spartans fought their way back: by learning to love the game more than the win. Jim Caviezel plays the head coach, Bob Ladouceur; Laura Dern, his wife. ”I encouraged [the cast] to talk to their counterparts,” says director Thomas Carter (Swing Kids), who cast The Shield‘s Michael Chiklis as assistant coach Terry Edison. ”Michael was thrilled when Terry came on set. He would go up to Terry, asking him how he would say a line.” Even acting takes teamwork.

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