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The North Allegheny Tigers claimed an impressive 21-0 victory over Friendship Collegiate Academy (DC) in Week Zero to open the 2019 season on Friday night at Newman Stadium. It was NA’s first shutout since the Tigers blanked Morgantown, 45-0, in Week Zero in 2017.

Fittingly, it was the defense that made the first big play of the night. NA’s relentless pressure forced FCA quarterback Dyson Smith into an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone, resulting in a safety for a 2-0 Tigers lead with 4:13 remaining in the first quarter.

Following the safety, the Tigers offense marched the football 69 yards on eight plays, culminating the possession with a 4-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Ben Petschke for a 9-0 lead with 1:29 to play in the first quarter.

Late in the second quarter, the Tigers were faced with a 4th and 4 from the FCA 8-yard line. North Allegheny converted the fourth down into a touchdown thanks to an 8-yard passing score from Petschke to Nathan Hoke for a 16-0 lead at the half.

After a scoreless third quarter, North Allegheny put the finishing touches on the win in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard field by Brandon Persad and a safety by the NA special teams when a bad snap on an FCA punt attempt went through the back of the end zone for a 21-0 final.

Senior running back Percise Colon was the leading rusher for the Tigers with 68 yards on 17 carries. Petchke completed 8 of 13 passes for 104 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown. Senior Luke Colella was the top receiver, hauling in four passes for 44 yards.

On defense, Hoke led the Tigers in tackles with 6.5 and one sack. Hayden Sheets posted two sacks and Khalil Dinkins thwarted an FCA drive with an interception.

Friendship Collegiate Academy had several big plays erased due to penalties. In all, FCA committed 13 penalties for 137 yards. The Knights had more penalty yardage than yards gained, posting only 124 yards of total offense on the night.

With the win, North Allegheny improves to 1-0 on the season and will host the Norwin Knights in the conference opener on Friday at 7:30 p.m.