There are plenty of big football games this weekend: Alabama-LSU, Penn State-Minnesota and Monmouth-North Alabama on Saturday and of course Giants-Jets on Sunday.  Well at least 3 of the 4 are big.

However to the 27 high school football teams from the shore area that qualified for the NJSIAA playoffs what counts as a big game are the ones they will be playing beginning this weekend when the postseason officially begins.  For many it’s the start of a road they hope to stay on for several weeks.

No matter what the Shore Conference is assured of having at least two winners this weekend because of head-to-head meetings between local teams.  Toms River East, one of the better stories of this season, will host Middletown North tonight in the Central Jersey Group 4 bracket with the winner to likely face Jackson if the Jaguars, as expected advance past Moorestown.  Brick and Middletown South also have games in that sectional tonight.

The other shore versus shore showdown comes in South Jersey Group 3 where Red Bank visits Holmdel just six weeks after the Hornets won a Liberty Division matchup 17-7.  The rematch is the Jersey Mike’s Game of the Week on the Shore Sports Network as we’ll stream it live on shoresportsnetwork.com.

Wall is the only #1 seed among the shore teams and the Crimson Knights have to wait until Sunday to host Allentown following a controversial decision by the NJSIAA to have Allentown play Robbinsville in a play-in game Wednesday to decide the last seed in Central Jersey Group 3.  The Crimson Knights should coast in this one and would get Lacey next if the Lions can win at Burlington Township.

Among Group 5 schools Toms River North earned a #2 seed in Central Jersey and will entertain South Brunswick tonight while Southern hosts just their second playoff game in school history when they take on Vineland in the South Jersey portion.

Point Beach and Point Boro are both on the road this weekend. The Garnett Gulls head to Gateway tonight while the Panthers visit Cedar Creek tomorrow. Among the other teams in action this weekend are Manasquan and Ocean.

You can see how I and others view this weekend’s games and enter the Bum Rogers Football Picks contest at shoresportsnetwork.com.