Waubonsie Valley junior quarterback Dylan Warden did not begin the 2011 season as the team's starting quarterback.
However, he had to step into that role and has been nothing but spectacular.
Starting senior quarterback Mitch Stefani broke his collarbone Sept. 9th against Bartlett in the third quarter. The injury forced head coach Paul Murphy to insert Warden into a game where Waubonsie trailed 20-0.
The 6'1", 173-pound Warden had 168 yards, a passing touchdown and two running scores to almost win the game, with Bartlett prevailing 27-20.
Warden has since led the Warriors to a 5-0 record as the starter, throwing for seven touchdowns and running for eight.
His first varsity start against Lake Park saw him pound in four rushing scores and throw for another in a 54-7 triumph.
Against Neuqua Valley Oct. 7, Warden's team was down 21-14 late in the fourth quarter with a little over two minutes remaining. On a 4th-and-11 play, it looked as if Neuqua Valley would stop Warden and the Warriors.
However, Warden had different plans.
As he dropped back, Warden was scrambled away from pressure, stepped up in the pocket and hit senior running back Austin Guido for a 16-yard catch. The following play, Warden ran in from 15-yards out for the tying score.
The junior got the ball again in overtime. He ran a quarterback draw and dove into in the end zone untouched for the game-winning tally.
"It was a tough play," Warden told the Chicago Tribune as he was named Player of the Game. "They were close, but it worked. We made a good run."
Against East Aurora Oct. 14, Warden had two touchdown passes in a 68-0 blowout.