FARGO — Fargo Shanley kicker Emmet Kenney drew the attention of a former NFL kicker with his record-setting field goal Friday night against West Fargo Sheyenne at Essentia Health Mustang Stadium.
Kenney drilled a 58-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of an Eastern Dakota Conference football matchup in which Sheyenne earned a 43-38 victory in a showdown of unbeaten teams.
Kenney set an unofficial state record, according to the North Dakota High School Activities Association.
“It was amazing," Kenney said. "It was a dream come true to be quite honest. ... I’m definitely upset that we lost. Hopefully, we’ll advance through the season and we’ll make a good run in the postseason.”
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Kenney is one of the top prep kicking prospects in the country and has received offers from North Dakota State and the University of South Dakota. Kohl's Professional Camps ranks Kenney at No. 21 in country for kickers in the 2021 class.
Lawrence Tynes, a former New York Giants kicker and two-time Super Bowl champion, took note of Kenney's big boot on social media.
"That’s a big time kick for a High School kid or anyone for that matter," Tynes wrote on Twitter.
That’s a big time kick for a High School kid or anyone for that matter.— 𝗟𝗮𝘄𝗿𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗧𝘆𝗻𝗲𝘀 (@lt4kicks) September 19, 2020
Tynes also played for the Kansas City Chiefs during his nine-year NFL career. He's the only NFL player to make two game-winning overtime field goals in the playoffs.
"That was pretty awesome," Kenney said of the attention from Tynes. "That was certainly a great moment and a feeling of accomplishment."
Kenney said his Shanley teammate Henry Collins pointed out after the game that Tynes had commented on the kick via Twitter.
"He's a huge Giants fan," Kenney said of Collins.
Kenney's 58-yard boot took over first place on the NDHSAA list for longest field goals, ahead of Fargo South's Jacob Weiler, who kicked a 52-yarder against Fargo North in 2012. Darin Erstad nailed a 50-yarder for Jamestown in 1991.
50-Yard + Field Goals on record in recent North Dakota prep football history (unofficial list)— NDHSAA (@NDHSAA) September 19, 2020
1. Emmet Kenney, Fargo Shanley, 58 yards vs. WF Sheyenne (2020)
2. Jacob Weiler, Fargo South, 52 yards vs. North (2012)
3. Darin Erstad, Jamestown, 50 yards (1991)#NDHSAA #NDpreps pic.twitter.com/OAylACCm3d
Fargo Shanley head coach Troy Mattern was the coach at South in 2012 when Weiler made that 52-yarder. Kenney was good friends with Cooper Mattern, the starting Shanley quarterback, so Kenney went to several South games when he was younger with Cooper. Kenney said Weiler was a "fantastic" kicker.
"I definitely looked up to him when I was younger, and then now to see I hit a longer ball than him in a game. That was pretty cool," Kenney said.
Kenney didn't know if coach Mattern was going to send him out to try the the long field goal with the Deacons trailing by eight points early in the fourth quarter.
"I was standing by coach Mattern once it was fourth down and I was thinking, ‘I don’t know.’ Obviously I was hoping he would send me out there, but not quite sure," Kenney said. “He checked the distance and he said right away, ‘Field goal.’ For him to have that trust in me that was amazing.”
Kenney missed a 45-yard field goal earlier in the game. That try had plenty of leg, but sailed wide. He said that kick helped him read the wind for the record-setting 58-yarder.
“Right after I saw the referee’s arms go up, I was jumping up and down, I was going nuts, I was yelling," Kenney said, “To be in high school and to have your coach trust you that much in such a big game like it was with the game being on TV and everything, it was just incredible.”
Kenney said he's heard from multiple colleges since the record-setting kick, including some that hadn't contacted him before. He has talked to Power Five conference schools, but hasn't set a timetable on committing to a college.
“I’m just trying to focus on my season right now," Kenney said. "I just don't want to get distracted because we have a fantastic team and we have something great going.”
Earlier this season, Kenney was videotaped kicking field goals from 64 yards out during pregame warmups.