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StarBulletin.com

Bain plays last game like a champion


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POSTED: Thursday, December 25, 2008

Statistically, Aaron Bain couldn't have envisioned his final game in a Hawaii uniform any better.

Eight catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl against Notre Dame sounds like a memory to cherish forever.

The only problem was it came on the wrong end of a 49-21 beatdown at the hands of the Fighting Irish last night at Aloha Stadium. Bain's career day, in which he set personal bests in receptions, yards and touchdowns, didn't come close to filling the senior wide receiver's appetite for success.

“;I can look at it that I left everything I had on the field and I tried to do my best, but at the same time, I feel so disappointed because I feel like I should have made more plays and tried to do more to contribute and put points on the board,”; Bain said.

He was the only offense for the Warriors until garbage time, hauling in both touchdown passes from Greg Alexander.

Trailing 14-0 and in need of a spark, Hawaii got the play from Bain, who took a short pass from Alexander and beat an Irish defender one-on-one for a 10-yard score to cut the lead in half.

But as was the case throughout the game, any momentum Hawaii started to turn its way quickly did a 180 in Notre Dame's favor.

Three plays after Bain's first touchdown, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen hit Golden Tate for a 69-yard score. When Bain scooted into the end zone on a 21-yard touchdown from Alexander in the third quarter, Notre Dame came right back, returning the ensuing kickoff 96 yards for a score.

“;Just trying to get the fans back in the game was such a tough one, because we strike and then they came right back and score,”; Bain said. “;Just couldn't get the crowd into it.”;

Bain was named Hawaii's most valuable player of the game in a bittersweet moment. As he trotted off the field for the final time, trophy in hand, he just shook his head as he jogged into the tunnel.

“;I would sacrifice the trophy in a minute,”; Bain said. “;I really wanted to win this game for the seniors and for the state of Hawaii.”;

One day, Bain said, he'll be able to appreciate his game against the team that was a household favorite growing up as a kid. But for now, the only thing on his mind is coping with a loss that feels exactly like every other one.

“;To me, any loss for the University of Hawaii and Warrior football is tough,”; Bain said. “;I don't care who we lose to or if it's a bowl game or not, it's a disappointment because I know this team could be a great team.”;

And unlike after the Sugar Bowl loss last year, Bain won't get a chance in the future to make up for it.

“;It's up to the young guys now,”; he said.