In September just about every high school football team has at least some confidence that the season could be a good one.

They’ve worked hard in the offseason and during those hot August practice sessions and shown some promise during pre-season scrimmages.  The confidence and momentum rolls through the first few weekends but as the calendar turns towards October dreams begin to die for some while others have visions of championships.

This is the final weekend of September and it features some huge division matchups as we begin to separate the pretenders from the contenders.

Jake Kazanowsky (Townsquare Media NJ)

Let’s start in the American Division where Toms River North visits Rumson with the winner to move into first place.  The Mariners are coming off a 42-40 win over Manalapan behind a 257 yard, 4 touchdown passing effort by Jake Kazanowsky.

Longtime rivals Brick and Jackson Memorial collide at Warren Wolf Field tonight and while both have lost their first two Colonial Division games the winner knows there will still be plenty of play for in weeks to come.  This matchup between the Jaguars and Green Dragons is the Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week on the Shore Sports Network.

Southern and Brick Memorial are among a trio of teams at the top of the Constitution Division standings and they collide in Mustangs country tonight.  The visiting Rams have been bolstered by sophomore running back Jaiden Brown who ran for 205 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s win over Howell.

Donovan Catholic has posted three shutouts to open the season and clearly is the team to beat in the Liberty Division and tonight the Griffins visit Central.  Meanwhile Lacey, also off to a 3-0 start will host Manasquan.

Barnegat, coming off a big win over Shore heads to Ocean tonight to battle the Patriot Division favorites while Point Boro is home against Shore.  Meanwhile surprising 3-0 Point Beach, who did not win a game last season, is home against Asbury Park in a key National Division matchup.

The Saturday schedule features a pair of surprising 3-0 teams as Toms River East heads to Colts Neck in a key Freedom Division clash.

To see how I and the other so-called experts view this weekend’s games check out the Bum Rogers Crabhouse Football Picks on shoresportsnetwork.com