Elliss brothers revel in another title
Noah and Christian play key roles in Valor’s 30-14 win over Pomona.
Noah Elliss, Valor Christian’s 6foot-5, 330-pound senior defensive tackle, couldn’t stop the tears from flowing. Tears of pride, tears of joy, tears of sorrow.
“I just can’t believe this is our last ride,” Elliss said after the Eagles defeated Pomona 30-14 Saturday afternoon to capture its second consecutive Class 5A state championship and its fourth title in five years.
Elliss spilled his emotions for all of his teammates and coaches, but most especially for his brother, Christian Elliss, who played such a huge role in Valor’s victory. The brothers sought each other out immediately after the final whistle, sharing a bear hug.
“I told him I loved him and I was so proud of him,” Noah said. “We have been playing together for so long, and now it’s over. It’s pretty sad.
“But to see my brother make a key touchdown … it just really made me proud to see what he’s become as a player and as a person.”
Christian, a linebacker on defense and utility man on offense, turned the game in Valor’s direction late in the first quarter. He hauled in a 61-yard touchdown pass from Dylan McCaffrey to cut Pomona’s lead to 7-6. On Pomona’s next possession, Christian stuck a big hit on quarterback Ryan Marquez. Then, on the next play, Christian picked off a Marquez pass, returning it deep into Panthers territory.
That set up McCaffrey’s perfect 5-yard touchdown fade pass to the corner of the end zone to his younger brother, Luke. As the first quarter ended, Valor had a 13-7 lead and a tidal wave of momentum.
“For me, it was just about going all out today,” Christian said. “It was amazing. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my entire life. Today was the most fun I have ever had.”
A little background is in order here. Christian is the son of Luther Elliss, the former Detroit Lions and Denver Broncos defensive tackle who grew up in Mancos. Luther Elllis is currently the team chaplain for the Broncos.
Christian is Luther’s natural son, and Noah is Luther’s nephew by birth. However, Noah was adopted and raised as part of the Elliss family.
“I call Noah my brother,” Christian said. “He is my brother. After the game, I hugged him and told him how much I love him. I told him I knew he was going to do great things in college.”
Noah is the most sought-after defensive tackle in the state, with collegiate interest from all over the country. He has yet to make an official commitment. Christian, also a senior, has received his share of offers too, including from Northern Colorado, Montana State, Idaho and Eastern Washington.
The one school that has shown interest in both of them is Mississippi State.
“He really likes that school and I do too,” Noah said. “Who knows? We might play together again. That would be awesome.”
Valor’s Christian Elliss breaks to the outside for a gain against Pomona in the second half of the title game. Joe Amon, The Denver Post