Natick's football team has lost its star wide receiver and defensive back Brian Dunlap for the year before he got a chance to play a meaningful snap.
Dunlap suffered a season-ending foot injury in a scrimmage against Holliston Aug. 24 while at safety.
In the scrimmage, Dunlap went up for an interception and seemed fine when he came down, said Natick coach Mark Mortarelli.
"It was an innocent-looking play," Mortarelli said. "We didn't think it was that bad."
The team thought it was a sprain. But as time went on, Dunlap sought a specialist who confirmed the injury was much more serious, requiring surgery.
He is expected to make a full recovery, but there is no timeframe for when he will be healthy, Mortarelli said.
"The good thing is, he'll recover 100 percent," he said.
Dunlap was a Globe All-Scholastic last season as a sophomore, catching 86 passes for 1,550 yards and 23 touchdowns. In two seasons for the Redhawks, he tallied 155 receptions and 35 total touchdowns. Going into the 2013 season, he was widely viewed as the top receiver in the state.
"It would be impossible to replace his production because his numbers were off the chart," Mortarelli said. "We're going to play some seniors in his place."
Mortarelli noted that captains Mike Abbrruzzese and Alex Hilger would fill the gap along with senior Scott Warnock.
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