In most cases, a six-point loss to a defending state champion football team wouldn’t be disappointing. But when it comes to a winless defending state champion, the loss stings.

Stanfield (1-2) dropped a 38-32 decision to Grant Union last week in a game that Stanfield could have easily won. Head coach Dominique Coffin said they “killed (themselves) with penalties and never gave (themselves) and chance for success.”

Hopefully they can get those things cleaned up as they hit the road to take on a very good Imbler (2-0) squad this Friday at 7 p.m.

“We know that they are a great team, but we are looking to get better this week and show people what Stanfield football is really about,” Coffin said in an email. “We feel like we haven’t done a good job at that yet. Hopefully this will be the start of it.”

It’ll be an uphill battle, though.

The Tigers are on their third quarterback of the season, as original starter Dylan Grogan is still out with a collarbone injury and new starter Ryan Bailey is out with some “back issues.”

Coffin said he had a chance to watch Imbler play at Kennison Field last Saturday, and he was impressed with what he saw.

“(They are) a very disciplined team,” he said. “They have a great defense and their offense knows how to move the ball.”

Factor in a new quarterback and another long road trip, and the Tigers will certainly have their work cut out for them.

“It was good for us to finally get the chance to play on the road (last week) and let the players see how I expect road trips to be,” Coffin said. “We know that we need to get off the bus and start out fast and finish strong.”

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