LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) Daniel Sams scored five touchdowns and racked up 357 total yards as McNeese State defeated Northwestern State 47-27 on Saturday night.

Both teams thrived on the big plays but Sams, who threw for 242 yards and rushed for 115, led McNeese State (7-0, 6-0 Southland Conference) to the win.

Northwestern State (1-6, 1-4) struck first when Ed Eagan returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a score.

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Leading 14-10, Sams hit Kent Shelby, who finished with 110 yards receiving, on a 73-yard scoring strike to open the second half. Northwestern responded on the next play from scrimmage when Joel Blumenthal broke for a 60-yard scoring run to close to 21-17 with less than one minute gone in the third quarter.

Northwestern State's Stephen Rivers opened the final quarter with a 42-yard scoring strike to Tuff McClain to tie the score at 27. Sams responded with a 52-yard run to take the lead for good.