The third weekend of the high school football season features a pair of key games in Class “A South” which is made up of the largest schools in Ocean County including some traditional and long-standing rivals. 

Monsignor Donovan's Brad Henson on The Shore Sports Network's High School Football Show (Townsquare Media NJ)

Southern, seeking to defend the divisional title they won last fall can take a big step in that direction with a win over visiting Toms River North in a game that will be broadcast on our Shore Sports Network’s 105.7FM.    The Rams have opened the season with back-to-back shutouts but tonight face an explosive Mariner offense capable of scoring points in bunches.

The problem for North last weekend in a loss to Lacey was turnovers as the Lions scored touchdowns on fumble and interception returns and also ran a kickoff back for a score.  That was a division loss for the Mariners and they can ill afford another one tonight against a Southern team that has learned how to win under veteran coach Chuck Donohue, who has collected 219 victories over 38 years, the last 15 seasons in Manahawkin.

This should be a good one between teams that have become fierce rivals in recent years when the outcome often determined division titles and even playoff survival.

The other “A South” game of interest has Brick Memorial heading to Jackson Memorial with the winner improving to 2-0 in the division and rating the role of a major title contender.  The Mustangs have unleashed a rising star in junior all-purpose standout Mike Basile, who has scored 7 touchdowns in two games.  Five of them came last week when he caught three scoring passes, ran for another and returned an interception for a touchdown.  The Jaguars, who have a history of producing outstanding running backs, may have found another in junior Khani Glover, who ran for almost 200 yards and 3 touchdowns against Toms River East last weekend.

Tonight also boasts an interesting matchup in Class “B South” as Monsignor Donovan visits Barnegat.  Both teams were shutout in week one but came back to collect divisional wins last weekend and the team that prevails tonight instantly stamps themselves as a team to beat.

The Bengals are led by the versatile Pat Moran while the Griffins count on University of Virginia recruit Brad Henson, one of the state’s top offensive linemen.