Regardless of how it gets done, a win is a win. Bay Springs, ladened with freshman and newcomers, has managed wins through multiple areas of the game in all six it's played so far this season.
"We've just found a way to win every week," said Bulldogs head football coach Dan Brady. "I won't say it's been pretty. We've played some good ball games, but we're still making mistakes that you'll expect from a young team. But we're getting better, and the thing I like more than anything is that every week, we find ways to win."
Unbeaten through Week 6, Bay Springs crossed a milestone not reached in 39 years. The last time Bay Springs started 6-0 was in 1980. They finished the year 10-2 with a bowl game invite - prior to the current playoff system now in place.
"I'm happy for the kids," Brady said. "With a young team, there are some variables, but being 6-0 has helped us. At the same time, we're a little bit more confident than we need to be. In some ways, we feel invincible, but we have a long way to go."
Special teams play provided their wins over the past several weeks.
“Really the last three weeks, it’s been through special teams [play],” said Brady. “Offensively, we’ve struggled a little bit, but defensively, we’re playing some of our best ball we’ve played in a long time.
They’ll need to be good-to-great in every area Thursday night, in what some might consider its marquee matchup of the regular season.
"We've played some good teams to this point, but we haven't played a Taylorsville," Brady noted. "We have to play our best game on Thursday night to win."
Bay Springs travels to Taylorsville Thursday night for a 7 p.m. kickoff to begin Region 8-2A play.
How can the Dawgs beat Taylorsville?
"The first thing we can't do is get whipped up front," said Brady with a sigh. "I don't know if you can ever control the line of scrimmage against a team like Taylorsville, but you can't just let them destroy you. You have to keep them in check. They have some excellent players upfront.
"And as a team, we have to play with more confidence than we did last year against them. We need to win on special teams too. That is what's helping us right now. And we have to force turnovers. We've forced 18 turnovers through six games - that's big. We're finding a way to get the ball, and a lot of that goes to our kids playing hard and not quitting."
Brady can be blunt at times, and he didn’t hold back when asked what would a win or a close game versus Taylorsville mean to his pack of Dawgs.
“Not a dad-gum thing,” Brady quickly responded. “You don’t win championships in October. You win them in December.
"What happens Thursday night will be the first round of a two-round fight. Some people may not believe that, but my boys do. So it doesn't matter who wins Thursday night. It's just the first of many rounds to go."
The Dawgs, though, have been preparing for this game all season. Brady explains.
"When we switched to a four-man front, we knew that to win a state championship, you have to beat Taylorsville," said Brady. "People can look at that however they want to. Yes, there are other teams on our schedule, but we knew that if we wanted to compete with them over the next couple of years, we had to change how we schemed on defense. We've been preparing for their offense a long time."