Former Rim Country Middle School football standout Taylor Walden is now plying his wares for Class 4A 4th-ranked Tolleson High School.
In Tolleson's 19-0 win over Sunrise Mountain Friday evening, Walden just a sophomore scored on a 5-yard run with 9:14 remaining in the half that upped his team's lead to 13-0.
At Tolleson, Walden is teammates with one of the most acclaimed running backs in the state. Senior Mike Bell has dominated the prep football scene and is being recruited by many colleges and universities.
While living in Payson, Walden also starred on the Tonto Apache Track and Field team, in Little League baseball and was a promising high school wrestler.
The teenager is the younger brother of Hunter Walden the quarterback who led the Longhorns to the 1998 state football championship.
At a weekend passing league tournament held last summer in Payson, former Payson High coach Dan Dunn now an assistant at Mesa Red Mountain hinted that the Mountain Lions were a team on the rise.
Dunn's prognostication came true Friday evening in Mesa where the Lions upset top-ranked and unbeaten Mountain View 34-18.
In the 12-year history of Red Mountain High School, the football team had never beaten Mountain View.
The Toros entered the game riding a 17-game win streak and a huge favorite to whip RM. About 8,000 Valley football fans watched the game.