Nik Bonitto, an uncommitted senior linebacker, came up big Friday as No. 14 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) defeated Deerfield Beach 14-0.
It was the Raiders’ third shutout win this season and Bonitto has been a constant as the team’s leading tackler.
On Friday, he scored the first touchdown for Aquinas, deflecting and then intercepting a pass in the end zone. He also helped keep the Bucks out of the end zone late with two solo sacks and an assist on a third, including a sack that caused a fumble with just under six minutes to go.
His effort helped Aquinas bounce back from their first loss as the Raiders fell 12-0 last week at Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.).
Bonitto is listed as the No. 195 player on the ESPN 300 list for the Class of 2019 and was not on the American Family Insurance ALL-USA Preseason Team, but he has played himself into ALL-USA contention and made the list earlier this week of ALL-USA defensive MVP candidates.
The win, with the addition of a forfeit victory over Flanagan (Pembroke Pines) this week, improved St. Thomas to 5-1.