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Falcons await injury report on RB

None of the county's football coaches were thrilled with the effect Hurricane Charley had on their football seasons, but Dunedin's Mark Everett has the biggest beef of all.

Those other coaches had to deal with rescheduled games; Everett may have lost his most important player.

Falcons senior running back Tim Benjamin injured his knee playing basketball on the night he should have been carrying the ball in his most important football season. He now awaits an MRI to determine if what once was thought to be a minor injury is a season-ending ACL injury.

The MRI was performed Monday, and Wednesday an agitated Everett still was unable to reach Benjamin's physician to determine the test results.

"They should know the results by now, so we're just waiting," Everett said. "We're on pins and needles. He wasn't going to play this week (against St. Petersburg) anyways, but we need to know."

Everett said Benjamin's doctor, David Thompson, was in surgery all day Wednesday and attempts to reach him failed.

For Dunedin, Benjamin's status is an enormous question mark. He was seventh in the county last year with 474 receiving yards and five touchdowns, and his explosive playmaking ability and 4.5 speed prompted Everett to make him the feature back this year.

"This is huge for us," Everett said. "Without him, I don't think were running the veer nearly as much.

"He was sort of a sleeper. He didn't get that many carries last year, but we changed a lot of things to get him the ball this year. We basically made him our feature back."

Benjamin had a 97-yard run on his first carry in the spring game and added another short touchdown.

Following his injury, Benjamin expected him to miss a week, but continued to say that "something didn't feel right."

As he stood on the sideline during Dunedin's 44-42 loss to Largo, Benjamin shrugged and said "next week" when asked about his return. But later, a team trainer checked his knee and suggested he get an MRI.

Everett said losing Benjamin would be "devastating," but he was holding out hope the injury was not serious.

"He's not in a great deal of pain, which is why I'm staying so optimistic," Everett said. "But when they said ACL, you could have knocked me over with a feather."

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