Senior Marquis Stewart and Charlie Nihart have been leading the NAIA Benedictine football team this year. The team poses a threat to competition with not one running back, but two.
The duo ranks as the number two team in the country in rushing offense. Stewart is ranked number six in the country with 673 yards in total rush yards. His teammate, Nihart, is ranked number eight with 611 yards.
“Marquis and I could start at any school across the country,” Nihart said.
“We work together as one and make it happen,” Stewart said.
Theres a huge difference in having two talented running backs and the depth it brings to the team is extremely beneficial.
“If he goes down, I’m ready to go. If I go down, I know he’s ready to pick up the reps,” Nihart said.
The ability to grab a breather and take breaks is helping Stewart throughout the season. It is also keeping him calm and in the right mindset.
“It’s a stress reliever because you don’t have to save your energy. You can go all out effort on every play,” Stewart said.
Stewart and Nihart are both complete running backs, but they have subtle differences making them unique from each other.
Stewart is the bruising running back. He is going to hit a defender in the mouth as he sprints through the offensive line. Nihart is a smaller, quicker running back that is going to use his speed to get around the defenders towards the sideline.
“If you gameplay for one of us, you can’t gameplay for the other,” Nihart said.
In a game against Baker in 2018, Nihart ran for 103 yards and a touchdown, defeating the Wildcats.
The duo’s biggest fan this season is their senior starting quarterback Shaefer Schuetz.
“They’re both freak athletes,” Schuetz said. “They’re fantastic dudes, both of them want to win more than anything.”
Stewart and Nihart are helping their quarterback in the pass game tremendously.
“They take a lot of pressure off of the pass game,” Schuetz said.
The duo acknowledges the importance of their rush game to help their quarterback out in the pass game.
“Having a good rushing attack relieves a lot of stress on the passing game,” Stewart said. “The passing game will come together.”
“We are helping the pass game out by causing a bunch of guys to stay in the box,” Nihart said. “Their linebacker is shading us which is a zone that frees up areas for the pass game.”