(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) Call it a character building moment for the St. Louis SLAM women’s tackle football franchise.
After dropping two straight games, and clinging onto post-season possibilities in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA), the SLAM topped the Indy Crash 35-18 Saturday night at Arsenal Technical High School .
The 17-point victory was significant as St. Louis (2-2), currently ranked fifth in the 18-team WFA Tier II, outgunned the third-ranked Crash with all components working with a must-win mindset.
After both teams stalled on their opening drives, the SLAM notched the game’s first points with a 14-play drive, punctuated by Kaylee Neutzling’s field goal that connected for a 3-0 lead with 1:40 left in the first quarter.
The Crash collected a safety via sack early in the second quarter that narrowed the score to 3-2.
Later in the second, Neutzling made an 11-yard field goal that extended the SLAM’s lead to 6-2.
Late in the half, St. Louis quarterback Jaime Gaal connected with Keyonna Smith for an end zone strike, the receiver’s fifth of the season, which widened the SLAM’s lead to 12-2.
Indy collected another safety prior to the end of the half and the SLAM held a 12-4 lead at intermission.
The Crash shored the score in the third with Angelita Furman’s touchdown run. A successful two-point conversion followed and the game was tied 12-12 with 4:10 left in the frame. Neither team scored for the remainder of the stanza as the stalemate headed into the fourth quarter.
After a red zone drive, the SLAM regained the lead with Neutzling’s third field goal of the game and sported a 15-12 edge.
On Indy’s next possession, the Crash were forced to punt and Neutzling returned the football for a SLAM touchdown. Her extra point kick followed with 11:48 remaining in the game and St. Louis stretched its lead to 22-12.
Indy attempted to counter with its next drive but the SLAM’s defense held steady and the Crash were forced to punt.
By implementing a sustained drive, Gaal hit Neutzling with a 13-yard touchdown pass with 5:51 left in the game to widen the SLAM’s lead to 28-12.
Now in a late-game state of urgency, the Crash tried to force the football down the field but the plan was thwarted as Smith intercepted the ball for the SLAM and returned it to the end zone for her second touchdown of the night that secured the team’s second straight win.
The Crash (3-2) scored a late touchdown to make the differential tighter, but the SLAM’s 23-6 scoreboard output in the fourth quarter resulted in the team’s 35-18 character building triumph.
The SLAM is idle next week and returns to action in a road contest against Derby City Dynamite on May 14. The team’s final regular season game is a May 28 home contest against Kansas City.
For more information on SLAM football, go to stlslam.com.
(Story constructed from the official Facebook pages of the St. Louis SLAM and the Indy Crash.)