Home Editor's Picks Undefeated St. Louis SLAM Set For Saturday’s Showdown With Boston

Undefeated St. Louis SLAM Set For Saturday’s Showdown With Boston

Anticipated Meeting With 5X WFA Champs Takes Place At SLU High

by Brian Ledford

For the St. Louis SLAM tackle football franchise, Saturday night can’t come soon enough.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

The undefeated local reps of the Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) face the five-time reigning national champions at home and plan on making an impactful statement.

The SLAM (3-0) battles the Boston Renegades (2-0) at St. Louis University High School (4970 Oakland Ave.) at 7 p.m. General admission tickets are $15 while children under 10 are free.

Those that follow the WFA consider Saturday’s tussle as the “Game of the Week” …and for good reason.

It involves a talented pair of teams featuring high-scoring offenses backed by stubborn defenses and flawless specialty teams.

On top of that, the factions met each other at last July’s WFA Pro National Championship game in Canton, Ohio. Boston became the most-decorated franchise in the league with their trophy victory.

This season, both squads currently sit atop their respective conferences. The SLAM paces WFA Pro American while the Renegades is ranked first in WFA Pro National.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

That makes the showdown extremely intriguing and provides the incentive for one to buy a ticket and watch some intense play.

“This is the rematch of last year’s National Championship,” anticipated SLAM center Caitlin Erickson. “#1 vs #1. If that isn’t enough motivation to come watch some high-quality football, I don’t know what is!”

St. Louis upped their unblemished record after last Saturday’s 41-0 road shutout over Derby City Dynamite. RECAP

SLAM receiver Kerri McMahan caught three touchdown passes and added a “pick-six” defensively in the win. The second-year starter has made nine overall endzone trips through three games.

Additionally Saturday, receiver Sydney Bloch collected a pair of six-point catches, pushing the rookie’s total to five at the position and six overall while running back Jada Humphrey upped her touchdown total to four with a three-yard romp.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

Meanwhile, All-American quarterback Jaime Gaal advanced her touchdown ledger to a dozen throws following four collected against Derby City.

Gaal’s work was made easier with the solid linework of Antonnia Washington, Pamela Green, Marion Ball, Tamikka Brents and others.

“We get dirty, so our quarterback doesn’t have to,” said Erickson of the SLAM’s front wall. “We battle six seconds at a time to create holes for the playmakers.”

Through three games, the SLAM’s offense is averaging 49 points, third best in WFA Pro.

“Traditionally, the O-line does not get a lot of recognition,” said Erickson. “But every educated football enthusiast knows those points don’t get on the board without a great snap and excellent protection from the line. Our entire team does a great job recognizing what we put in to help the success of our team.”

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

Also successful last Saturday was the SLAM’s defense. Although they were missing some veteran personnel prior to kickoff, the unit – paced by Raven Williams, Tay Johnson, Alisha Straws, Mary Altepeter, Jamie Skinner, Kinnaudy Daniels, Ciara Morgan, Stephanie Moore, Myah LeFlore, Cat Daza and others – forced five Dynamite turnovers en route to the goose-egg recorded, their first of the season.

Currently ranked fourth defensively in WFA Pro (14.3 PPG average), the unit is fully aware that Saturday’s battle against the Renegades’ offense (51.5 PPG average) will be tough.

“It’s going to be a hard-fought game but we’re up for the challenge,” projected Williams, a member of the linebacking corps. “We always love playing them.”

Boston pushed their current WFA undefeated streak to 42 straight after their 56-6 shellacking over conference rival Alabama Fire on May 4.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

“They did a good job of executing when they had to,” said Renegades head coach John Johnson afterwards to the league’s website. “We controlled the line of scrimmage, which is great.”

They most certainly did! Boston held an overwhelming 49-0 lead at halftime as both running back Katie Falkowski and receiver Stephanie Pascual collected multiple early touchdowns. Currently, Pascual has five scores through two games while Falkowski has three.

Defensively, the Renegades are paced by defensive end Donny Fournier and linebacker Solina Pascual for a unit that is ranked second in WFA Pro (3 PPG average).

That might be a little misleading as Boston’s first two opponents, Alabama and Tampa Bay, are collectively 0-5 early this season and are at the bottom of WFA Pro offensively.

The Renegades know that their first two games have been extremely easy and adjustments must be made for Saturday’s meeting with the SLAM.

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

“We have a tough opponent in St. Louis, but we have to clean up our own business,” assessed Johnson after the Alabama romp. “We didn’t quite show up at all times, so we have to work on that and be the best versions of ourselves.”

Conversely, the SLAM had a 41-40 gut check win against conference rival Minnesota two weeks ago. The Vixen, currently second in WFA Pro American, proved that they are potential trophy contenders later this season.

That nail-biter, last Saturday’s decisive win over Derby City and one game in hand overall compared to Boston, puts St. Louis in a positive frame of mind.

“Right now, we are exactly where we need to be,” said the SLAM’s Erickson. “We’re conditioned, getting just as many mental reps as we are physical, and ready for our biggest match up of the season.”

And what does it take for St. Louis to upend the five-time champs at the battle between unbeatens?

Photo Credit: Gerald Affeldt

“Mental preparation and execution of our individual jobs,” said Erickson. “The team with the least (number) of mistakes in this game will walk away with the ‘W.’”

When the final whistle blows Saturday, the team that reigns supreme will have most-certainly deserved it.

Live online coverage of the game can be seen on LiveStreamSTL BY GOING TO THIS LINK.

For more info on the SLAM, go to their official website.

Arch City Media will have a full recap posted Sunday afternoon.











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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