The victory halted a string of 13-straight losses to the Cowboys for Northwestern State (4-6, 3-5). McNeese (6-4, 5-3) was tied atop the Southland Conference standings with Nicholls and Incarnate Word before the loss.
Eppler, who had passed for just 84 yards in the first half, came alive in the second, finishing with 292 yards and four touchdowns.
Trailing 31-23, Eppler threw a 19-yard touchdown strike to Jaylen Watson with 27 seconds remaining in the game. Eppler then lobbed an over-the-shoulder pass to Ferguson for two extra points to send the game into overtime.
Northwestern's Austyn Fendrick pushed a field-goal attempt wide right in the first extra period. McNeese had a chance for the win but Hayden Bourgeous broke through the right side of the line to block Gunnar Rabon's 36-yard field goal attempt to send it to the second overtime. Rabon nailed a 38-yarder for the lead in the second extra period.
Eppler then found Ferguson for a 6-yard touchdown pass for the victory.
The teams combined for 55 points in the second half after scoring just seven in the first two quarters.
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