Perhaps no team knows better than the Presbyterian Christian School Bobcats that it's not how you start, it's how you finish.
After starting this football season by dropping its first two games, PCS has rebounded to win seven of its last eight contests as the Bobcats get ready to host Starkville Academy Friday at 7 p.m. in Hattiesburg.
PCS head coach Joey Hawkins hopes his squad can keep the recent momentum rolling when SA comes to town.
"We started out 0-2 and we were pretty banged up," said Hawkins. "The last part of the season though, we've played really well. We've gotten better each week over the last seven weeks.
"But now we're going up against one of the best teams we've played all year on Friday night."
The Bobcats and Volunteers enter Friday's conference matchup in similar situations. Both teams have already locked up playoff spots and can neither hurt nor help their standing in the postseason, regardless of the result of the game.
That doesn't mean Hawkins plans to do a whole lot different though.
"We're just going to try to get better," said Hawkins. "We need to play a tough team like Starkville. We need this game to continue to get better. Starkville does a great job of running the option and that's something we really haven't seen this year, so we've got our work cut out."
To overcome SA, Hawkins has a pair of impact running backs that could very well factor into the game's outcome.
Fullback Blake Graves and tailback Lee Sigrest have each ran for around 800 yards this season according to Hawkins.
As impressive as Graves and Sigrest have been, Hawkins said his team is still trying to get an air attack in order, something Hawkins says has improved in recent weeks.
"We're starting to throw the ball better," said Hawkins. "Really, our passing game is what we're working on now."
Defensively, much like his team as a whole, Hawkins says the Bobcats are improving as each week goes by.
"We've really gotten better (defensively) over the last month and we've got to continue to build off of that," said Hawkins. "We're real pleased. We're not a dominating defense by any means, but we're getting quicker and we're tackling better."
Ultimately, Hawkins says he hopes all phases of his team are ready for the playoffs by the time the dust settles in the battle between SA and PCS.
"This game will really help us to focus in," said Hawkins.