From staff reports

The North Long Beach Panthers football team arrived in Orlando, Fla. about a week ago as one of eight teams from around the country aiming for a Jr. Pee Wee Division II national championship.

Today, the Panthers can come back home to Long Beach wearing championship smiles after a 32-12 victory Friday morning over the Capital City (N.C.) Steelers at Hess Sports Field in the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.

Friday's win completed a three-game sweep for North Long Beach in the eight-team tourney. The Panthers opened the tournament last Saturday with a 22-6 win over the Brookline (Mass.) Patriots, then followed that with an 18-12 semifinal win on Tuesday over the Western New York Bills, setting up Friday's championship game.

The Panthers jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the first quarter and led, 12-6, at the half. But the Panthers blew open the game with two touchdowns in the third quarter to go up, 24-6.