Home Editor's Picks Undefeated St. Louis SLAM Seeks Third Straight Victory Saturday

Undefeated St. Louis SLAM Seeks Third Straight Victory Saturday

Road Game Against Derby City Marks WFA Mid-Season Checkpoint

by Brian Ledford

After a hard-fought road victory last weekend, the St. Louis SLAM continues their 2024 campaign with another away game and aims to stay undefeated in the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA).

The SLAM (2-0) faces the Derby City Dynamite (1-0) Saturday at 7 PM Central at Holy Cross High School in Shively, Kentucky.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

St. Louis, who currently holds the top spot in the WFA Pro American Conference, survived a 41-40 nail biter against ongoing conference rival Minnesota Vixen last Saturday to keep their record unblemished. FULL RECAP HERE

In that contest with under a minute remaining, the Vixen scored a touchdown and trailed by a solo point but elected to opt for a two-point conversion for a potential come-from-behind triumph. The gamble was unsuccessful and the SLAM secured victory in a perpetually tension-filled donnybrook.

“The biggest takeaway for me is that we fought until the end,” reflected SLAM quarterback Jaime Gaal of the tussle. “We didn’t fold or panic. It gave us some good experience, but hopefully next time we won’t stress out our fans like that.”

Gaal had five touchdown passes Saturday, which pushed the All-American’s total to eight overall after two games.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

SLAM receivers Kerri McMahan and Sydney Bloch each had a pair of six-point snares in the win. Second-year starter McMahan has four touchdowns grabs through two games while Bloch, a rookie, has three.

“They have been amazing,” said Gaal of the tandem. “They’re both very talented athletically, but also work extremely hard and are great teammates. Especially Sydney, as a true rookie who’s never played football before. The amount she’s had to learn and ingest while still performing at such a high level. I love it!”

SLAM running back Jada Humphrey had an endzone run in Saturday’s win and has collected three touchdown scores after two games.

The SLAM’s offense, currently sporting a 51 points-per-game average, is propelled by the solid linework of veterans Marion Ball, Caitlin Erickson, Tamikka Brents, Pamela Green and Antonnia Washington.

“They are, by far, the most crucial piece of the offense,” assessed Gaal of the front wall. “You can have all the talent in the world at the skill positions, but you only get to see that talent if there is great run blocking and pass blocking. That’s why I make sure they know how important they are to me and this team!”

The SLAM’s defense was challenged mightily by Minnesota’s offense last Saturday. The Vixen, last year’s WFA Pro American Conference runner-up, opened eyes at their season opener with their moxie.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

The St. Louis contingent, anchored by Tay Johnson, Keyonna Smith, Raven Williams, Myah LeFlore, Kaylee Neutzling, Brooklynn Devitt, Alisha Straws, Mary Altepeter, Jamie Skinner and a host of others, provided much-needed stoppages against the Vixen at pivotal moments.

“Our defense is so fun to watch,” said Gaal. “At our games, I won’t even sit on the bench because I don’t want to miss any of the action. I’m one of their biggest fans!”

The SLAM’s Saturday opponent, WFA Division 2 rep Derby City Dynamite, launched their season in late-April with an overwhelming 62-0 victory over National Conference rival Grand Rapids Tidal Waves.

In the contest, returning Dynamite running back LaEssence Buckner collected 219 yards on the ground with a career-high six touchdowns while Alicia Meyers added a pair.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

In past head-to-head matchups, the SLAM has perpetually overpowered the Kentuckians but the locals have always been respectful of the WFA D2 team’s overall resilience.

“Derby City always comes to play, and plays hard,” said the SLAM’s Gaal.

In the end, St. Louis looks to collect their third straight after Saturday’s final whistle.

After this weekend’s trek, the SLAM prepares for a May 18 home showdown against five-time WFA Pro Champion Boston Renegades at St. Louis University High School.

For more information on the SLAM, go their official website.

Arch City Media will be at Saturday’s game and will post a full recap Sunday.

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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.

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