After building a hefty first-half lead, Prague held off a would-be Little Axe rally for a 41-21 win Friday night.

After building a hefty first-half lead, Prague held off a would-be Little Axe rally for a 41-21 win Friday night.

This moves the Red Devils to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in their district, and gives them sole possession of the District 3A-4 third-place slot going into the final week of the regular season. The top four teams at the end of next week will advance to the playoffs.

The game’s opening drive was a hearty one as Prague moved the ball 70 yards in eight plays for an early 7-0 lead. The chunk of the trek was knocked out by Gage Auld’s 51-yard screen pass to Daelen McClendon, who put the period on the possession two plays later with a 4-yard plunge with 8:39 to go in the first quarter.

Tyler Outerkirk split the uprights for the extra point, and ultimately hit four of his five attempts.

Prague’s lead grew to 14-0 with 9:14 to go in the first half as Auld found a leaping Baruck Strickland in the end zone on second-and-goal from the Little Axe 4. Less than three minutes later, it was 20-0 Prague courtesy of R.J. Cook’s 20-yard scamper on third-and-1.

Little Axe got on the board with 3:34 left in the half on Charles Lynn’s 8-yard dash. Brendan Howe added the PAT kick, and the Red Devils carried a 20-7 cushion into the break.

Another Auld-Strickland connection — this one worth 3 yards — gave Prague a 20-point lead with 7:46 left in the third quarter. But Little Axe wasn’t going down without a fight.

On third-and-28, the Indians put up the biggest play of the night when quarterback Austin Hodge dumped a 71-yard scoring pass into the hands of Coop Watts with 9:51 left to play. Watts was in single coverage near the left sideline and made his turn-and-run catch with little trouble.

The passing game was Little Axe’s biggest producer as Hodge finished with 208 yards on a 17-for-39 effort. He was picked off twice, including a game-ending pick by Prague’s Jonathan Hodge deep in Indian territory.

Austin Hodge ended Little Axe’s share of the scoring on a 2-yard rush with 4:29 left to play, and a successful 2-point conversion pass to Lynn shrank Prague’s advantage to 34-21. The Red Devils had the last word, however, on Auld’s 3-yard scoring keeper with 45 seconds to go.

Auld finished as Prague’s leading rusher with 125 yards and his score on 17 carries.

The Red Devils ended the night with 223 rushing yards and 143 aerial yards for a 366-yard total on offense. Little Axe finished with 308, including an even 100 on the ground. Auld hit nine of 16 passes and was pilfered just once for Prague’s lone turnover.

The Devils came up on the short side of the penalty battle, being flagged for 100 yards to Little Axe’s 43.

Prague will conclude the regular season Friday, Nov. 4, against host Star Spencer.