(COLUMBUS, OH) After a 30-month wait, the St. Louis SLAM women’s professional tackle football franchise returned to the turf and churned a 14-6 victory over the Columbus Chaos Saturday at Whitehall High School.
St. Louis (1-0) last played July 2019 when they won the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) Tier II championship. The meeting with the Chaos (0-1) marks the first game for the SLAM after being bumped up into WFA Pro classification.
As projected for teams that had been inactive during the pandemic, it took several possessions for either squad to build offensive traction. The game was scoreless after one quarter.
The SLAM finally posted their first points of the season with 2:02 left in the half with an eight-play, 49-yard drive. Running back Taylor Hay’s one-yard plunge and the successful PAT kick that followed pushed the score to 7-0.
St. Louis maintained that differential at halftime.
In the third quarter, many of the new SLAM defensive players made impressive showings, including Myah LeFlore, Alisha Straws, Ariana Smith, Jasmine Yandell, Kelsie Nesbit and Tay Johnson. That alongside returning veterans Raven Williams, Pamela Green and Keyonna Smith kept the Chaos scoreless in the frame.
The SLAM maintained a 7-0 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
With 10:15 left in the game, the Chaos were force to punt on fourth down at their own 15 and subsequently misfired on the snap. This resulted in the SLAM taking over on downs at the Columbus 11-yard line.
Capitalizing on the Chaos’ miscue, St. Louis doubled the score with three plays. Anchored by the offensive line, Hay punched in a one-yard touchdown with 9:11 remaining. The SLAM’s lead expanded to 14-0 after the successful PAT kick.
Columbus, who were playing in their inaugural WFA game, broke their goose egg with 3:58 left in the game and made the score 14-6.
Despite the home team’s late surge, the SLAM maintained the eight-point differential to pick up the road victory.
Hay finished the night with 141 yards off 33 carries and a pair of touchdowns.
St. Louis has not lost a game since June 2017. After winning the WFA Tier 2 title in August of that year, the team suspended operations in 2018. The SLAM returned in 2019 and won their fourth national championship with an 11-0 campaign. After the WFA’s 2020 season was cancelled due to the pandemic, the SLAM opted not to play in 2021. The current winning streak stands at fifteen games.
The SLAM plays the Minnesota Vixen, last year’s WFA Pro runner-up, next Saturday in Minnesota.
By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is a writer for Arch City Media, dating back to February 2014. Emphasis is on featuring and promoting local women's sports, but will cover anything that is not reported by traditional media outlets. Also a contributor to local concert reviews.