It’s been a difficult stretch for the Stanfield Tigers football team these last three weeks.

After an exciting win in Dominique Coffin’s debut as head coach, injuries at key positions have derailed what looked like a promising season.

Three-straight losses, all without their starting and backup quarterbacks, give Stanfield an up-hill battle as they head into league play this week.

The Tigers are still without starting quarterback Dylan Grogan and backup Tyler Bailey, so Thyler Monkus — normally a running back — will have to fill in for the second consecutive week behind center.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit with the injuries just because people are learning new spots,” Coffin said in an email. “I think this week we should look better and hopefully be more efficient.”

Stanfield (1-3) starts the league portion of its schedule in Athena, taking on the Weston-McEwen Tiger-Scots (2-2) in both teams’ Columbia Basin Conference opener at 7 p.m. Friday.

Coffin said he and his team are excited to start league play against a “good team” in Weston-McEwen.

“We know we are going to have to bring our A game and be efficient,” he said.

The Tiger-Scots have had a similar schedule to Stanfield. They beat up on Grant Union 32-18 and lost a close 30-24 game to Imbler. Both teams beat Stanfield, although the loss to Imbler was considerably more lop-sided.

With arguably Stanfield’s toughest game of the year coming next week against Heppner, Coffin says he is focusing on the present.

“I always like to play it one game at a time,” he said. “We do not want to look ahead to anyone or look past anyone.”

Coffin said the Tiger-Scots are fast on defense and “flow to the ball well and have a lot of success.”

On offense, “they like to just run at you” out of multiple formations.

“We know that we are going to have to step it up on both sides of the ball to give ourselves a chance for success,” he said. “... Our guys know that we still haven’t played our best game. I can tell it is getting frustrating for the guys, but they are doing a good job of keeping their heads up and battling.”

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