Cameron Doubenmier and his Cougars teammates made sure that they made their last game at the University of Houston count.
The senior linebacker native of League City who graduated from Clear Springs High School and his 25 senior teammates did just that in the Cougars’ 24-14 win over the Navy Midshipmen on Friday afternoon at TDECU Stadium.
The victory placed the Cougars at 7-4 overall (6-5 in the American Athletic Conference) and locked up a second-place finish in the AAC West Division.
“It’s been a journey for me, coming here as a walk-on and earning my right on the field,” said Doubenmier. “It’s been a blessing on the field. To go out with a win, it was the icing on the cake for me.”
For Doubenmier, his career at Houston has included being named to the 2014 AAC All-Athletic Football Team and being named the squad’s Special Teams Player of the Week after the Cougars’ 20-13 win over the Temple Owls on Sept. 30.
Doubenmier had no shortage of support from his family on Friday.
“I brought everyone out today,” Doubenmier said. “Friends and family were able to come out and support me. Everyone that could come out, did. I made sure that everyone had tickets for this one. I had a lot of great support today.”
He said that having senior day on Thanksgiving week made it even more extraordinary.
“It was special having senior day this week since we don’t get to see our family a lot but we had them come out for Thanksgiving dinner at the hotel,” Doubenmier said. “Having everyone over for the game was nice.”
Friday’s victory was made even more sweet with the Cougars recovering from last Saturday’s 20-17 loss on the road to Tulane.
“it’s special because it’s senior day. every team will play extra hard on senior day and make it tough for the other team,” Doubenmier said. “Hats off to Tulane for getting it done against us last week but we were able to come out today and go out with a bang. That was special for everyone on the team.”
But for a while, it looked as if the Cougars were heading for another upset loss against Navy.
After securing a 7-0 lead in the first quarter off a 9-yard run by D’Eriq King, the Cougars’ defense gave up Navy touchdowns on a 12-yard run by running back Malcolm Perry and a 13-yard run by Anthony Garigiulo to give the Midshipmen a 14-7 halftime lead.
At the start of the second half, King fumbled on a 1-yard run and the Midshipmen fell on the loose ball at Houston’s 46-yard line.
But Houston’s offense found its footing soon enough, scoring 21 unanswered points and Navy had no response.
“We played really hard on defense today,” Doubenmier said. “Our defense did a great job today. Our offense was able to put the ball in when it was time to score. That’s what contributed for us getting the win today.”
Also playing in his last game at home, wide receiver Steven Dunbar notched his sixth career 100+ yard receiving game, finishing with 142 yards off eight receptions including a 61-yard touchdown reception.
It was Dunbar’s second straight performance of rushing for over 100 yards at TDECU Stadium.
The Houston seniors have been through a lot in the last few years, from winning the AAC Championship in 2015 and winning the Peach Bowl against Florida State that same year to seeing a change in command with Tom Herman leaving for Texas with Major Applewhite taking over as head coach this past year.
“This win meant a lot to me,” Dunbar said. “But it means a lot to all the seniors because we’ve been through a lot. This whole time we’ve played through coaching changes. So, I think it was emotional to walk out on the field one last time but I’m glad that we came out on top.”
Senior D’Juan Hines had 11 tackles and 2.5 sacks for a loss of 3 yards while senior Alexander Myers had a late fourth quarter interception against Navy.
Senior Linell Bonner also had a big day, recording eight receptions for 98 yards.
Houston will learn its bowl on Dec. 3.