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Fennimore QB shines in first varsity start just four days after his father’s funeral
Max Kenney
Junior Max Kenney complete 14 of 28 passes for 199 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his first varsity start to lead Fennimore to a 30–22 upset victory over Black Hawk/Warren, the two-time defending WIAA Division 7 state champion. - photo by Jason Nihles

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Athlete of the Week is a web-only feature that will publish each Thursday throughout the calendar year.

Max Kenney, Jr., QB, Fennimore football

FENNIMORE — Playing with a heavy heart after the death of his father Robert nine days earlier, Kenney completed 14 of 28 passes for 199 yards and two touchdowns and three two-points conversions to lead the host Eagles to a 30–22 victory two-time defending WIAA Division 7 Black Hawk/Warren, snapping the Warriors’ 27-game winning streak in the WIAA 2020 Alternate Fall spring football season opener for both teams.

Robert Kenney, 55, passed away Wednesday, March 17 at UW’s Carbone Cancer Center and his funeral was last Monday. Four days later, the younger Kenney was under center for the Eagels in his first varsity start at quarterback.

Despite dealing with the loss of his father, Kenney delivered a performance reminiscent of Brett Favre’s brilliant Monday Night game against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 22, 2003 after the death of his own father. Kenney was given the game ball by his teammates after the game.

“Max had a great first start and had real poise in the pocket,” said Tollefson. “I can’t say enough about how well he played and how his team rallied around him. He’s a great player to coach, asks questions, and leads by example. This team and all of his friends have his back and will continue to do so. Football is one of the great team sports, and we are all one family.” 

Fennimore took an early 6–0 lead on a 31-yard touchdown strike from Kenney to senior Druw Fifrick midway through the first quarter. Fifrick beat the Black Hawk defense down the left sideline and Kenney found him open in the end zone.

The visiting Warriors (0–1) answered with a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore Lucas Milz with 2:22 left in the first.

Junior Austin Horn then capped a 65-yard Fennimore drive when he made a diving catch from Kenney in the a back left corner end zone on 4th-and-goal from the 15 on the first play of the second quarter. Kenney found senior Warren Adam for the two-point conversion to make it 14–6.

Black Hawk tied the game with 8:19 left in the half on a Milz 4-yard run and a two-point conversion by run by Milz.

Fennimore was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, but Jacob Henkel forced a fumble on the return and the Eagles recovered at the Black Hawk/Warren 36.

Seven plays later Kaden Hahn scored on a 3-yard run, and Kenney found Napp in the back of the end zone after scrambling sideline to sideline for the two-point conversion to make it 22–14 with 3:26 left in the half.

The teams traded turnovers on the next two possessions, and the Warriors’ tied the game on a 5-yard run by Milz (his third of the night) and a two-point conversion run by Landen Mahoney with 16 seconds left in the half.

Horn scored on the 45-yard fumble return late in the third quarter, the Fennimore defense made two key stands to preserve the victory.

HONORABLE MENTION (in alphabetical order):
Peerson Kephart, Jr., QB, Southwestern football
Kephart completed 20 of 31 passes for 197 yards and three TDs to three different receivers, and rushed for 56 yards and another score in the Wildcats' 41–26 season-opening loss to Cuba City last Friday night.

Beau Kopp, Jr., QB, Cuba City football
Koppp completed 13 of 15 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for a team-high 150 yards and three TDs on 13 carries in a 41–26 season-opening victory at Southwestern last Friday night to spoil the rival Wildcats' (0–1) first game on their new field turf.

Lucas Milz, So., RB/LB, Black Hawk/Warren football
Milz rushed for 128 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in the Warrior's 30–22 season-opening loss at Fennimore last Friday night.

Hailey Stich, Jr., OH, Cuba City volleyball
Stich floored a team-high nine kills, served up three aces and had a team-high 21 digs to lead the Cubans to a 23–25, 25–10, 25–12, 25–23 comeback victory over visiting Riverdale (5–3) in the championship game of the four-team SWAL-Spring volleyball tournament last Thursday night. Stich also had 14 kills, 15 digs and two aces in a sweep of fourth-seeded Southwestern (1–10) in last Tuesday's SWAL-Spring Tournament semifinals to lead the Cubans (7–2, 5–1 SWAL).