Fort Scott, Kan.—Going into last Saturday night's game against the Hutchinson Community College Blue Dragons, Fort Scott Community College linebacker Dominic Cizauskas needed to accumulate 30 tackles in the last two games of the season to break the FSCC single-season tackle record.
Because Cizauskas had averaged more than 17 tackles per game in his last three games, it appeared this record was in reach. Instead of making Greyhound fans wait until the final game of the season to break the record, Cizauskas had one of the best single-game defensive performances in Greyhound history. During the game, he accumulated 34 tackles and intercepted a pass early in the first quarter to become the record holder, surpassing Lavonte David, former 'Hound and current NFL All-Pro football player for Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Adding the 34 tackles from last Saturday's game, Cizauskas currently has 131 tackles for the season, exceeding the previous record of 125 take-downs set by David in 2009 during the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Championship game. With one game left against top-ranked Garden City Community College this Saturday, Cizauskas will look to add on to his tackle record and help the Greyhounds upset the Broncbusters.
When Cizauskas, a 6'2", 242-pound freshman from Mukwonago, Wis., first arrived at FSCC in the spring of 2016, there was a buzz across the campus. Cizauskas was a highly-touted, explosive player with a high motor and the 'Hounds hoped he could be a game-changer on the defensive side of the ball. Cizauskas has fulfilled these expectations.
According to Craig Richardson, FSCC linebacker coach, Cizauskas has grown into a smarter and better football player throughout the course of the season. "His football IQ continues to grow every day. When he first came to the team, he would rely on pure athleticism," said Richardson. "Now, his understanding of the game and preparation puts him in a position to be successful. His success over the last several weeks is a credit to his dedication."
Richardson says he has been impressed with Cizauskas' performance and believes his work ethic puts him in a class with past Greyhound greats. "Dominic is a tough, hard-working, blue-collar kid who makes plays that make you scratch your head wondering, 'Did he really do that?'" said Richardson. "His motor never stops. He dominates games by utilizing proper technique and good reads to make up for his size and speed."
In addition to his role as a linebacker, Cizauskas also plays on all of the 'Hounds special team units. He has averaged 13.1 tackles per game this season, with three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. Two of his pick-ups were returned for touchdowns in a 34-29 victory on the road against Ellsworth Community College.
Currently, Dominic is ranked in the top four players for several NJCAA defensive statistic categories:
- Tackles (#2, with 131 tackles)
- Fumble recoveries (#3, with 4 fumble recoveries)
- Average tackles per game (#4 with 13.1 tackles per game)
The NJCAA has taken notice of Cizauskas' efforts, naming him the Defensive Player of the Week twice in the last three weeks. He was also recognized by the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference twice in the past three weeks as conference Defensive Player of the Week.
Cizauskas and the 'Hounds will finish their 2016 football campaign this weekend at 1:00 pm in Garden City, Kan., where they will play the NJCCA #1 ranked Garden City Community College Broncbusters.
FSCC single-season tackle leaders:
1. Dominic Cizauskas Current (2016) 131 tackles
2. Lavonte David 2009 125 tackles
3. Gabe Loyd 2014 119 tackles
4. Matt Glades 2007 113 tackles
5. Lucian Antoine 2007 112 tackles
FSCC all-time career tackle leaders:
1. Gabe Loyd 2014-15 225 tackles
2. Lavonte David 2008-09 218 tackles
3. Matt Glades 2006-07 186 tackles
4. Lucian Antoine 2006-07 162 tackles
5. Horace Hubbard 2007-08 153 tackles