"I didn't think we had our best game," said Sikeston coach Derrick Long. "Poplar Bluff was in control the whole game -- they came out wanting to win."
Justin Alford scored Poplar Bluff's first goal at 16 minutes, then Eric Nelson scored on a penalty kick to make it 2-0. At 25 minutes, Kevin Romine scored an unassisted goal to make it 3-0.
Sikeston's Blake Taylor scored off an E.C. Atchison assist at 34 minutes to shave the lead down to 3-1.
The Mules ended the half with goals from Jacob Lampe and Alford to hold a 5-1 lead at the break.
"We've played well against Bluff all year, but our defense didn't play that great today," said Long. "You can't let them have five goals in the first half. We dug ourselves too deep of a hole."
In the second half, Alford scored Poplar Bluff's final goal off an assist from Romine.
Sikeston finished with 16 shots on goal and keeper Jason Deere made 15 saves. The Mules had 21 shots and keeper Greg Clark made 15 saves.
Sikeston played the match without center fullback Scott Gardner, who was out because of sickness.
"I don't know if that threw us off or what," said Long. "There are no excuses. We just didn't play that great of a game."
The Bulldogs (8-11-1) have been seeded fourth in the upcoming district tournament at Notre Dame. They will face No. 5 Windsor in the first round on Saturday at 1 p.m.
"For the last week and a half, we've been getting ready for districts," said Long. "We don't know a lot about Windsor, but they've got about the same record as we do. If we win that one, we've got Notre Dame next. That's the game we really want. We're trying not to overlook Windsor, but we really want to play Notre Dame tonight. Like I told them tonight, nobody is going to remember what happened in the regular season if we win districts."
Sikeston's junior varsity team didn't get to play Poplar Bluff on Monday because of darkness. The jayvee finishes the season with a record of 8-6-4.