If the Comet football team finds itself feeling a sense of déjà vu this week, they can hardly be blamed.

It was at this point during the 2012 season Dickson had improved to 4-0, setting a school record in the process. It was also the high point of the season, as the Comets faltered down the stretch, finishing 4-6.

But it's a new year and, with lessons learned, Dickson is determined not to squander another great start to its season. The Comets, 4-0, will travel to Pauls Valley to face a dangerous Panther team still looking for its first win. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Friday.

"Pauls Valley always has good athletes," Dickson coach Jeremy Reid said. "They are big and athletic. They are not playing with a lot of confidence right now, but they are capable of turning on the switch.

"We are hitting the meat of the schedule, and it is important to get another district win in a very competitive district. We have to perform every week, there are no off-weeks."

During its 4-0 start in which Dickson has scored 141 points while allowing 56, the defense has been one of the highlights.

"I really like our intensity and energy on defense," Reid said. "We are running to the ball well. Offensively, we are running the ball well and getting better up front. We are just getting better every week."

Reid said the one thing that separates this year from last is within the team. In his third year, Reid's group of seniors was freshmen when he arrived at Dickson to conduct spring football. And in the trials and tribulations of the past three years, they have risen to a different mental level this year.

"Confidence is huge with anybody, kids and adults," Reid said. "Obviously, we have done great with our non-district schedule. We have only lost one non-district game since I have been here. Now is the time to get over some of the hurdles."

Reid said the biggest hurdle is the team.

"We need to believe we belong in the top tier of the district and not one of the bottom teams," he said. "Once we believe that, it will be a different story than in the past."

Dickson can begin to write a different story Friday night with a new set of benchmarks within its grasp. Reid said Dickson has never started 5-0 in its history. It has been 2003 since the Comets finished better than 5-5, and they have not won more than two district games in a season since 2005.

"Our main worry is focus," he said. "We are focused on going 2-0 in district, because we want to play in Week 11. There are a lot of firsts this week, but we will let everybody else worry about that. We will just worry about beating the Panthers."