Home Editor's Picks Undefeated St. Louis SLAM Heads To Columbus For Saturday Showdown

Undefeated St. Louis SLAM Heads To Columbus For Saturday Showdown

by Brian Ledford

Two games deep into their regular season, the St. Louis SLAM women’s tackle football franchise has kept their record spotless and the locals’ missive this weekend is to maintain that unblemished mark against another undefeated foe.

The SLAM battles Columbus Chaos in a meeting of unbeatens Saturday at Whitehall Yearling High School in Ohio. Kickoff is set for 5 pm Central.

St. Louis notched a 42-0 road victory over Derby City Dynamite last Saturday to push their Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) record to 2-0.

“We executed our game plan effectively, defense played tough, and we still haven’t allowed any points, which is a good feeling,” said SLAM captain Jamie Skinner. “The offense reduced penalties, really cleaned things up, and are starting to click.”

“It felt amazing to see our strategy executed from every teammate who went on the field,” added SLAM captain Ariana Smith. “Starting off with that 2-0 record puts gasoline on the fire in our hearts to continue to show everyone who (we) are and to have a memorable 20th season in the legacy.”

In the contest against Derby City, the SLAM raced out to a 14-0 lead before the squad took an offensive snap. A game-opening kickoff return touchdown by Jada Humphrey was immediately followed by a “pick-6” by cornerback Keyonna Smith during the Dynamite’s opening drive. As a result, St. Louis quickly constructed the dominant narrative for the night.

According to Smith, who plays left guard on the SLAM offensive line, their unit felt emboldened as they stepped onto the turf already sporting the double-digit lead prior to their first rep.

“We were and are confident in our roster and coaches,” Smith said. “Those two early plays not only set the tone for the night but also the expectation for all SLAM players. That example from both a seasoned veteran (Keyonna) and a rookie (Jada) told the rest of the team that no matter how long you have been wearing SLAM colors, you were there to leave it all on the field and ride home with the high of a win!”

“We always want to set the tone right out of the gate,” added Skinner of the pair of endzone strikes. “Both of those plays were huge for our team and allowed us some breathing room as we navigated through the game.”

The SLAM possessed a 35-0 lead at intermission and coasted to victory to maintain their top ranking in the WFA Pro American division. Quarterback Jaime Gaal threw three touchdowns passes on the night as receiver Kelsie Nesbit snared a pair. Humphrey also hauled in a six-point reception in the second half for dual scores on the ledger.

But again, the focal point of the contest was the SLAM’s unstoppable defense that inevitably recorded their second straight shutout.

“Being on the defensive unit, I know each of us takes it personally and goes in with the mindset that we are protecting what’s ours,” said Skinner, who patrols at safety. “We have all the components necessary to shut down (an opponent’s) ground and aerial attack, and we’re really starting to gel as a unit early, which is a great sign.”

“They have been the keystone to the success of our first two games,” complimented Smith. “Their ability to hold our opponents is also a huge morale boost across the team. It is one thing to be 2-0, but it is another thing to be 2-0 with no points given up. Regardless of position, we all wear that badge with extreme pride and do all that we can in practice and under the Saturday night lights to keep that momentum going.”

And that perpetual momentum will be key heading into the weekend as the opponents will be hosting their home opener and plan to keep their own record uncracked.

Columbus Chaos – a feisty WFA Division 2 squad – have churned a pair of road wins over Detroit (6-0) and Grand Rapids (14-0) to start the season perfect and currently sits atop the WFA Division 2 National standings.

In Saturday’s showdown, neither team wants to surrender that first score. Last season in their inaugural meeting, the SLAM edged the Chaos 14-6 and a similar nailbiter is not out of the realm.

“We expect (Columbus) to show up with their ‘A’ game, just like every team we play,” projected Skinner. “Their defense is solid, so we’ll have to execute our plan offensively and play a clean, tight game in order to be successful. Our expectation for defense doesn’t change – another week, another goose egg.”

According to Smith, the SLAM’s solid foundation will hopefully finish the team’s Buckeye State trek with another victory and further traction in the WFA Pro standings.

“The Chaos will be seeing a very different team in this second match-up than what they saw (last) season,” the captain said respectfully. ”It is our expectation to get on the bus Saturday night with a 3-0 record.”

For more information on the SLAM, go to their official link.

+ posts

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.

Related Articles