PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — The Mid-Illini Conference football schedule is only two weeks old but Pekin feels like it has to pass another big test.

After winning on the road at Dunlap in the league opener last week, the unbeaten Dragons host defending conference champ Washington (1-2) on Friday. The Panthers are coming off their best game of the season, a 44-22 win over rival Metamora.

“They came out and got down 8-0 and they had to fight their way back and ended winning by a good margin,” said Pekin senior linebacker Shamon Handejan of the Panthers. “It’s just pretty much telling us that they’re not going to be a pushover, they’re not going to be an easy team so we just have to come out here and work hard.”

Washington feels like an underdog in the match-up as Pekin has roared out to a 3-0 record and a top ten ranking in the class 7A state polls.

“I kind of like the underdog mentality. It’s like we have nothing to lose,” said Washington junior running back Jase Harlan. “We are going to come out there and play as physical and hard as we possibly can. Like we have nothing left. We’ve come together and bought into this family. and we are all playing for each other.”

Gamer time is 7:30 Friday.