Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

Cedarville football players and students gather together following Friday’s 28-14 win against Mechanicsburg.

Cedarville senior Tyler Cross (right) delivers a hard hit on the Mechanicsburg receiver.

Missing the tackle on this run by Mechanicsburg quarterback Jayden Roland, Cedarville senior Jackson Pyles (left) alertly got into position to recover a fumble moments later.

CEDARVILLE — Students, cheerleaders and fans were waiting by the field’s entrance gate. When Cedarville players stormed off in their direction, a massive celebration between everyone erupted in the corner of the endzone.

Check out more photos from Friday’s game.

The signature win the Indians have been seeking finally arrived.

Cedarville improved to 4-0 for the first time in a decade as the Indians used a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns to put away Mechanicsburg Friday in a 28-14 home win.

“This year is different,” Chase Baldwin said. “I don’t know what it is, but I just knew we were going to try and claw back into the game.”

The Indians have struggled recently to reach three wins in a single season before last year’s 5-6 campaign. Players and coaches said they didn’t believe it was a fluke year.

They are proving it now.

“When you grind every single day and you get what you want on the field, it’s crazy how it feels,” Jackson Miller sad. “It’s amazing, this is all amazing.”

Cedarville only lost one senior from last year’s team which nearly qualified for a home game in the postseason.

Expectations heading into this year were to match that run and accomplish even more, according to head coach Brian Bogenschutz before the season.

He said Friday’s win just makes him want to see how far they can keep going.

“We have a great group of seniors and a rotation of captains every week because we have so many guys that can do it,” Bogenschutz said. “They’ve bought in and it’s just filtering down and it’s exactly what you want as a program with top-down leadership. It’s fantastic.”

Cedarville had to fight for its 4-0 status in front of a capacity crowd from an early deficit. A fumble recovery by the defense on the opening possession didn’t lead to anything on offense and Mechanicsburg was able to strike first on its ensuing drive.

After Jackson Pyles threw an interception, Mechanicsburg drove the field again and Jayden Roland scored on a 39-yard run to make it 14-0 less than eight minutes in.

Cedarville’s defense got them back in the game though with a momentum changing hold in the redzone to start the second quarter as Josh Flora picked off an overthrown ball on fourth down. Five straight big yardage plays by the offense got them across midfield for the first time and eventually led to a fourth and goal situation which Colt Coffey punched in cut the lead in half.

“When we scored and got it to 14-7, we knew we would get the ball back after halftime and just needed to stop them,” Bogenschutz said. “When we did, we knew that it was now our turn.”

The second half started with a bang as Cedarville seized full control. Pyles found Jackson Howdyshell across the middle who ran away from the defense for a 77-yard strike to tie the game at 14 just over a minute into the third quarter.

The defense, which has yet to allow a point after halftime this season, on the next three drives got another fourth down stop and consecutive interceptions by Miller to keep the score tied.

“We’re flying to the ball, all 11 of us on the field,” Miller said. “That’s really what it is is getting 11 hats to the ball on every play.”

The second pick set up his offense at midfield where Pyles found Josh Flora in stride for a 49-yard touchdown throw to start the fourth quarter and the give the Indians its first lead.

Mechanicsburg got a final chance with 4:35 remining, but one more fourth down stop made it three total to go with five created turnovers for the Cedarville defense in the game. Coffey sealed the win with a powerful 17-yard touchdown run in the final minutes.

“All this week we were preaching resiliency,” Bogenschutz said. “It was our quote of the week about being resilient, being mentally stronger and they took it to heart. It’s something I don’t think you can really coach, they just got it. I’m proud of them.”

Cedarville has never won an Ohio Heritage Conference title. The win against Mechanicsburg doesn’t count in the South Division standings, but Miller said the team knows they are one win away from sweeping teams from the North this season and it would give them the momentum needed to get ready for play against the South.

In the meantime, the postgame scenes in the endzone showed off all that mattered in the moment. A large celebration with players being hoisted on one anothers shoulders and an overall joy that has been a rare sight has Cedarville feeling good.

A special season could be underway for the Indians.

“We’ve gone through so much in the past couple years,” Baldwin said. “0-10 or 1-9, it’s been miserable. … We’ve been playing together since peewee and we’ve been wanting to get after it and it’s so good to finally get some success.”

See all of the Greene County football results from week four.

Check out more photos from Friday’s game.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on X (formerly Twitter) @Steven_Wright_.