The Pirates nearly lost.
Bryce Weibrecht broke a 1-1 tie with five minutes to go to send the Pirates (3-1) to a 2-1 victory.
Weibrecht took a cross from freshman Matt Moran on the left side and buried it in the right corner to propel Perryville.
"The cross came across, it got a good bounce," Weibrecht said. "I got over top of it and put it down in the corner."
"Perryville wanted to win a little bit more than we did," Poplar Bluff coach Jamie Waddell said. "I credit them for coming out. They won every 50-50 ball. It looked like to me they wanted to be out there. The second half we came out and we put a goal on them, but after that it was just like we fell back into our first-half mentality."
The one downfall for Perryville -- it struggled to find the back of the net.
The Pirates fired shot after shot but to no avail.
"We were down at Sikeston [Monday] and played them and did the same thing," Perryville coach Jerry Fulton said. "We just dominated the game. They got a kick about 35 yards out up and over the keeper and we lost 1-0. When we came out tonight, our attitude was not to change anything. Keep our game plan and stay focused and work the ball. For some reason, we just have a problem finding the back of the net. We are getting the opportunities, we're working hard, we're doing all the right things, but we're just not hitting the net."
"For as big as he is, he is extremely athletic and quick," Waddell said. "He's got incredible speed, a nice touch, and he's very aggressive out of the air."
The Pirates had another golden opportunity with 10 minutes remaining in the half, but Robinson sent a Weibrecht cross just over the net from point blank.
The Mules started to turn it around in the second half.
Poplar Bluff became more aggressive and made Perryville work.
The Mules found an equalizer 15 minutes into the second.
Luis Rivera beat two Perryville defenders and sneaked a shot near post into the net.
"That was our second shot in the game," Waddell said. "I think we ended with two. I thought it was going to be a turning point in the way we were going to play. And I think for maybe about five minutes we stepped up and played pretty hard. Luis just dribbled through two guys and beat the keeper near post. It was a good shot by him, an excellent finish."
Added Weibrecht: "We weren't really starting to win 50-50 balls like we were the whole first half. We knew that if they kept winning, they were going to get shots. And if they got shots, they would eventually put one in."
The teams then traded blows and appeared to be headed to overtime before Weibrecht's late-game heroics.
"Bryce is a huge player for us," Fulton said. "He was our first all-stater last year. We're only a four-year-old program, and he made all-state last year as a junior. So we do rely on Bryce to pick it up and make those pressure goals. He's 6 foot 5. Once he pokes the ball past you, you're not catching him. We do rely on Bryce, and that was a huge goal to get us back in the lead.
"But it's like I told Bluff's coach. ... They made a game of it. In my opinion it probably shouldn't have been that close, but it was and that's why you play the game."