(OAKVILLE, MO) Heading into the 2015 Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) season with “unfinished business” on its ledger, the St. Louis SLAM got back into business and posted a 27-18 victory over the Minnesota Machine Saturday night at its season opener at Oakville Senior High School.
The SLAM (1-0) returned to the gridiron after a one year absence and it did not take long for the locals to draw first blood. In the first quarter, St. Louis quarterback Jelani Kelly connected with wide receiver Kaylee Neutzling for the SLAM’s first touchdown of the season. The PAT kick afterwards connected and St. Louis sported a 7-0 lead.
Minnesota responded with a touchdown later in the quarter but missed on the PAT and the SLAM maintained a 7-6 edge.
In the second quarter, SLAM running back Taylor Hay collected her first rushing touchdown of the season near the 11:00 mark and St. Louis extended its lead, 14-6, following the successful kick afterwards.
The Machine countered with a rushing touchdown six minutes later to narrow the score to 14-12. A two-point conversion failed and the SLAM clinched onto a two-point lead.
With approximately two minutes left in the half, Kelly hit her second touchdown pass of the night, this time to rookie receiver Vicki Nichols, which extended St. Louis’ lead to 20-12. After the successful PAT kick, their third in a row, the SLAM sported a 21-12 advantage.
In the third quarter, Minnesota narrowed the gap to 21-18, but the SLAM countered. Propelled by the solid SLAM offensive line, Hay collected her second touchdown run of the contest with one minute remaining to push St. Louis’ lead to 27-18.
The final stanza saw the SLAM defense maintain the margin as Minnesota attempted to make a late charge, but were unsuccessful.
St. Louis netted its first victory of season with the nine-point duke and vaulted atop the Great Plains Division of the WFA’s American Conference-Midwest Region.
The SLAM, idle next week, returns to the field April 25 in a road contest against the Tulsa Threat (1-0). This begins a stretch of three road games before St. Louis returns locally on May 16, where the SLAM meets Derby City Dynamite at Lindenwood University.
For more information on the St. Louis SLAM, go to stlslam.com.