The narrative heading into the St. Louis SLAM’s home game this weekend against the Tulsa Threat, coincidentally, contains a plethora of the number “three.”
The SLAM aims to pick up its third straight win at Lindenwood University (209 South Kingshighway St., St. Charles, MO) this Saturday at 7 p.m.
With three games left in its Women’s Football Alliance (WFA) regular season schedule, the SLAM looks to keep its home results spotless with victory. A 3-0 local record is the prize that is eyed by the Gateway City’s gridiron gang.
St. Louis elevated its record to 4-1 with a 26-8 win over Derby City two weekends ago at Lindenwood by holding the Dynamite scoreless in the final three quarters.
To steal a line from “Schoolhouse Rock,” three is a magic number. But according to SLAM quarterback Jelani Kelly, the team is approaching Saturday’s tussle with Tulsa, itself a WFA re-match, as if no prior numbers existed.
“Each game brings a new start, regardless of previous events,” she said. “Come Saturday, the score will be 0-0 at the start of the game, so Tulsa will be treated like any other team. We will continue to prepare for Saturday’s game and play to pull out another win.”
As a whole, it’s been a multi-layered offense this season for the locals, which has been imperative to the team’s balanced and successful attack.
“It allows us to be versatile and to keep the defense guessing,” Kelly said. “It also helps when responsibility can be spread across the board, so that the pressure of the game isn’t riding on one person.”
That offensive depth has been important for the SLAM, especially since it has saved its collective best this season during the second half’s long, exhausting stretches.
“The delegation of responsibility helps in terms of keeping our players fresh throughout the game,” said Kelly. “It is sometimes difficult playing when fatigued, so being able to call on someone else helps with staying fresh, both physically and mentally.”
Juan Snow, Caitlin Erickson, Toni Washington, Nicola Ackles, Quianna Dickerson and a host of others will provide the SLAM’s offensive walls while Robin Marrow, Kaylee Nuetzling, Brooklyn Bastain, Raven Williams, Tanzin Ackles, Chelsea Clay, Jessica Foote and numerous SLAM sistren paces the defense.
“Our defense is amazing,” said Kelly. “I’m sure a lot of people have heard the saying, ‘defense wins games’ and it’s true. For each game, since our very first game, our defense has been able to shut out the opposing team for at least one quarter. Most often, those shut outs happened in the second half of the game. This shows their resilience and determination.”
This precision will have to be in play again this Saturday against the scrappy Oklahomans.
The Tulsa Threat (2-3) suffered a 66-14 setback to Kansas City on May 9 that pushed its WFA record to the red, but they possess a multitude of talent that looks to give the locals fits. Running back Angelique Hughes has five touchdown carries while two-way player Kinsey Cranford has three scores and quarterback Terri Gilbert has a pair of touchdown scampers.
The Threat’s defense, who recorded shutouts in its two wins this season, is paced by linebackers Tricia Tottress and Amy Moran as well as lineman Kindall Moon.
The SLAM topped the Threat, 49-16, at Tulsa on April 25. Kelly knows that the hard-charging opposition looks to seek revenge at Lindenwood Saturday and bust the St. Louis winning streak.
“What I remember from the first game was Tulsa’s drive and intensity,” reflected the SLAM quarterback. “Play after play, Tulsa stepped onto the field as if it was the very first play of the game. They stayed in the game and fought until the end.”
And when the dust settles Saturday night in St. Charles, the SLAM hopes to prevail, notching another victory and improve to 5-1.
Tickets are $12 while children 10 and under get in free with a paying adult. The game is also promoted as “Military Appreciation Night.” All active military members and veterans can purchase tickets for only $8 each. Troops and veterans will be honored throughout the game.
For more information on SLAM Football, go to stlslam.com.