With one week left in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) regular season, the St. Louis SLAM aims to put a period on their six-game campaign and an exclamation point on a statistic that has impressed those that follow the sport nationally.
The SLAM hosts Derby City Dynamite Saturday night at St. Mary’s High School (4701 S. Grand Blvd, St. Louis). Tickets for the 7 p.m. contest are $15 for general admission while children 10 and under get in free.
Last Saturday, St. Louis pushed their record to 5-0 with a 42-0 home triumph against the Dallas Elite Mustangs and maintained their top ranking in the WFA Pro American conference standings.
And while the undefeated regular season record was a team goal, the other spotless mark heading into the weekend is something that probably was not projected back when the SLAM’s docket launched in April.
Saturday’s performance against the Dynamite also resulted in the team’s fifth straight defensive shutout. The SLAM has outscored their opponents collectively 170-0 and are the only WFA Pro team – out of 14 nationally within the division – that has yet to surrender a point this season.
“The goose-egg is nice but it’s secondary to the mission,” said SLAM cornerback Keyonna Smith after last Saturday’s win. “We have our sights set on what we’re doing this entire season.”
The SLAM’s primary goal is to reach the WFA Pro championship game that will be held in Canton, Ohio in late-July and a fifth national trophy. Currently their status in the conference already has them securing home field advantage for a WFA Pro American semifinal game on June 24 at St. Mary’s.
But first things first. The SLAM plans to collect a win Saturday that finishes the regular season unblemished, and they certainly bring plenty of weapons on both sides of the ball in order to make it happen.
Through five games, St. Louis quarterback Jaime Gaal has recorded over a thousand yards in passing with 15 touchdowns thrown and no interceptions. Prime receiving targets have been Kerri McMahan (4 TD catches), Jada Humphrey (3 TDs), Kaylee Neutzling (3 TDs) and Kelsie Nesbit (2 TDs).
Rushing is paced by veteran running back Taylor Hay (3 TDs) and Humphrey (2 TDs) in an offense that is averaging 34 points a game. These impressive numbers have been propelled by an offensive line consisting of Ariana Smith, Marion Ball, Tamikka Brents, Pamela Green and Caitlin Erickson.
“The offensive line is the offense,” acknowledged Humphrey. “You don’t see anything that we do on this field without them. They are our unit.”
Defensively, the standouts maintaining the goose egg have been…well…everyone. Neutzling and Smith are complimented by the stellar season-long efforts from Tay Johnson, Jasmine Yandell, Mary Altepeter, Jamie Skinner, Brooklyn Devitt, Alisha Straws, Mariah West, Veronica Smith and a host of others.
Without a doubt, it’s been a very-balanced performance through five games.
The SLAM topped Saturday’s opponent, Derby City Dynamite, 42-0 in a road game earlier this season. Although the Dynamite are winless (0-5), they have played much considerably better over their last two games with five team touchdowns scored.
“Derby City has a great run game,” said Smith of re-match. “So we’re looking forward to getting a bunch of great reps in and (play) better in that game in order to get to where we’re trying to go.”
Humphrey anticipates another high-level SLAM output that has been indicative of the team’s success this season.
“We don’t overlook our opponent, but at the end of the day, we pin our ears back and we play SLAM football like we know how to do,” she said. “It gets it done every time and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”
Saturday’s game can be seen live online for free via Live Stream STL on their official Facebook. Click on this sentence for coverage.
For information on SLAM football, visit their official website.
Arch City Media will have a full recap posted Sunday.
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.