Metamora and Washington have a lot of history on the football field. The two programs meet Friday for the 48th time since 1972, with Metamora leading the series 30-17.

The Redbirds enter this installment of the rivalry 0-3, something that last occurred in 1963. But that doesn’t mean they should be written off.

“People are (saying), ‘They’re 0-3,’ but those dudes are super-talented,” said Washington coach Darrell Crouch. “In the conference they’re 0-1, so (overall record) doesn’t matter. Three has no bearing overall on where you stand in the conference standings.”

Both programs have dominated the Mid-Illini since the league’s inception in 1982. Metamora has 15 outright league titles and has shared five more. Washington owns 11 outright championships and shared three more.

Pat Ryan has dominated the series in his 27 years as the head Redbird. His teams are 25-8 against Washington, including a 5-1 postseason record. Ryan said the rivalry is “a great thing.” It’s certainly special for both coaches.

“Part of it is the fans,” Crouch said, “and you have kids playing in the games whose dads and grandfathers were rivals.”

Breaking records: When Metamora’s offense takes Babcook Field for its first possession Friday night, two Redbirds will be coming off school record-breaking performances.

Junior quarterback Thomas Hall set single-game records for completions (27), attempts (51) and passing yards (430) in a 56-35 loss to Morton.

Leading receiver Bryton McDonald set records for receptions (15) and receiving yards (216).

Confidence building: East Peoria is off to its best start since 2014, when the Raiders started 3-0. After dropping the season opener at Streator, the Raiders beat East Moline and Limestone to improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the Mid-Illini.

“After we got our first win, the kids started believing in what we were doing,” firstyyear coach Erik Black said. “Our coaches are doing an unbelievable job of preparing them for what’s coming up.”

On offense, the Raiders are versatile with depth at their skill positions. Austyn Jordan has been strong at tailback, while receivers Cole Morton and Braden Lowery have shined.

“We adjusted some things offensively, which has allowed us to get the ball in our playmaker’s hands,” Black said. “We have good depth at receiver and a lot of depth at running back, and those kids have been making plays.”

One-dimensional: Often times coaches say they want to make an opposing team one-dimensional. In college and professional football, there’s a large emphasis on passing, and that’s what defenses generally try to take away from the opposing offense.

High school football, however, has traditionally seen a lot of running. Even now, when teams are throwing more than five years ago, defenses still gear up to stop the run and put the pressure on teams to throw the football.

Two defenses found great success in limiting their opponents on the ground last week. Dunlap held Pekin to 39 rushing yards on 27 attempts. Across the river, Morton’s defense had even better success when it held Metamora to 29 rushing yards on 24 carries. Both Dunlap and Morton won their contests to improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in Mid-Illini play.

Safety: Looking over the box scores from Friday night, it was odd to see the contests had two safeties. East Peoria got its scoring started on a safety in the first quarter of a 22-6 win over Limestone. The other safety came in the first half of Dunlap’s 37-21 win over Pekin. Both came on special teams, with East Peoria’s a result of a botched punt and Dunlap’s a sailed snap out of the back of the end zone.

Game balls: Morton’s Nolan Donald leads all area big-school rushers with 777 yards on 78 carries and 11 touchdowns. ... Peoria Richwoods QB Keenan Streitmatter was 15-for-27 with 193 yards and three touchdowns passes in a 52-35 loss last week to Rock Island. His QB rating is 215.0, which is tops in the area. ... Peoria High QB Coran Taylor is showcasing his passing and rushing skills. He has thrown for 469 yards and rushed for 459 with 11 total TDs. ... Other top rushers include Richwoods’ T’Nahleg Hall (561 yards, 78 carries, 5 TDs), Dunlap’s Luke Bennyhoff (546 yards, 64 carries, 8TDs) and Peoria High’s Geno Hess (504 yards, 45 carries, 7 TDs).