(photo by David Jenkins, Staff)
"We had very little emotion in the first half -- we weren't ready to play in the first half," said Sikeston junior high coach Chris Crosby. "We challenged them at halftime to increase the intensity and improve their performance. And they went out and did that. I was proud of them in the second half, we played much better."
Poplar Bluff scored with 59 seconds left in the first quarter on 4th-and-goal from the one to lead 6-0.
The Mules scored with 25 seconds left in the first half on a 10-yard run to lead 12-0.
Sikeston never could reach the red zone on the night.
Acie Dixon led the Sikeston ground attack with 85 yards on 16 carries. Greg Hatchett had 20 yards on five carries, B.J. Green added 36 yards on four carries and Travis Hudson had 9 yards on four carries.
"We came out flat in the first half," said Crosby. "We made some adjustments and played really well in the second half. We moved the ball well, but we had two big fumbles that cut drives short. Against a good team like Bluff you can't do that."
Sikeston's ninth grade team will host Caruthersville on Monday at 6 p.m.