On a night that seemed to bring out all the elements -- driving wind, heavy rain, cold temperatures -- the Bulldog offense was just as cold as Poplar Bluff held on to win 8-0.
The weather forced both teams to keep their respective offenses close to the vest, but it was the Mules that took advantage of a Bulldog penalty and punched in a lone score.
It's Poplar Bluff's ninth win in the last 10 meetings with Sikeston.
Sikeston's defense did its part, forcing three Poplar Bluff turnovers and limiting the Mules to 135 yards of offense, a season-best by the Bulldog defense.
Sikeston's best chance to score came late in the first half, but a dropped pass in the end zone and then an interception thwarted the drive.
The Bulldogs (1-8, 0-2 district) had a few other chances in Poplar Bluff territory but couldn't mount a serious drive.
"It was a great defensive effort and we swarmed the ball well," said Sikeston coach Jerry Dement. "It was tough conditions for both teams. Basically they had one drive and scored and we got close one time and didn't score. We created some turnovers but we didn't take advantage on offense, which is very disappointing. Part of that is the conditions and part of it is we just didn't get the job done."
Sikeston only managed 79 yards of offense.
"We ran the ball well at times, but then we'd get to a point where we needed a yard here or there and we'd bog down in crucial situations," said Dement. "Good teams make the plays when they have to and we didn't do that.
"We had some plays called that were set up to work and we didn't execute like we should've. We just didn't get it done. We didn't block well at crucial points in the game. When things got tough, we didn't get the big blocks and that's been a problem all year. And I'm talking about backs too, not just linemen."
Sikeston started the game well moving the chains and eventually crossing midfield, but the drive ended on downs at the Poplar Bluff 38. The 43-yard drive was the Bulldogs' best of the game.
The Bulldogs then held Poplar Bluff (3-6), 1-1 district) to a three-and-out, but a roughing the punter kept the drive alive.
It proved to be a fatal mistake.
Poplar Bluff kept the drive going and eventually scored on quarterback Asa Wyatt's option keeper from 18 yards out. Paul Swesey added the two-point conversion run to make it 8-0.
That's all the Mules would need.
"Credit our kids, they scored just enough and got our first shutout of the year so we'll take it," said Poplar Bluff coach Brian Robbins. "Other than a couple of runs i thought we did a pretty good job. They couldn't throw the ball. We didn't even attempt to pass. Pretty much pointless. Even if you can throw it, catching it is going to be, who knows who's going to be able to come down with it if anybody."
Due to winds of more than 30 mph, Sikeston's only pass completions were screens set up to Salamar Cox and Gavilan Bland, but they only netted nine yards total. Sophomore quarterback Charlie Bohannon was 3-11 passing.
Sikeston was led in rushing by Bland's 47 yards on 20 carries. As a team, the Bulldogs had just 70 yards rushing on 40 attempts.
Poplar Bluff's Swesey led his team with 64 yards rushing on 18 carries. Wyatt had 12 carries for 56 yards, but the Mule offense fumbled seven times, losing three.
"I thought we tackled much better," said Dement. "Robert Madison had a monster game at noseguard inside there. I thought Salamar Cox and Jerod Scott also had big games on defense.
"They swarmed to the ball well. It was a good effort. The kids didn't let the weather bother them."
With Sikeston's loss, Cape Central officially clinched the Class 4, District 1 championship.
Poplar Bluff will host West Plains next Thursday at 7 p.m. while Sikeston will host Cape Central on Thursday at 7 p.m. None of the games will have any bearing on the playoffs.
But Dement is just hoping to go out on a positive note.
"We've got one game left and it's against a local rival," said Dement of his game against Cape Central. "Hopefully our kids will come in Monday ready to try to win a game and end the season right."