RICHMOND — Maine’s Taji Lowe dove on the ground for a Richmond fumble and quickly jumped to his feet, holding the ball above his head early in the third quarter.

Fellow linebacker Deshawn Stevens congratulated Lowe, and all-conference defender Sterling Sheffield patted Lowe on the helmet. It was another good day for Maine’s defense, which held Richmond to just 29 yards on the ground Saturday a 28-9 victory.

The Black Bears’ win, combined with losses Saturday by Delaware and Elon, guarantees Maine at least a share of the Colonial Athletic Association title. The Black Bears (7-3, 6-1 CAA) can clinch the outright championship and the league’s automatic NCAA playoff bid with a win at home next Saturday against Elon (6-3, 4-2).

“We want the whole thing. We don’t want to share it,” said Joe Harasymiak, the third-year coach of the Black Bears. “That will be my message this week to the team.”

“Just believe in ourselves. That is what we do,” said wideout Earnest Edwards, who caught six passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

“As long as we believe in ourselves, we will be fine.”

Another road win allowed a memorable scene in the Maine locker room, as Harasymiak presented the game ball to the mother of Darius Minor, a freshman who died during a practice session in July.

Among those at the game were Minor’s mother, Charity, and an uncle and sister. The family lives about 60 miles northwest of Richmond.

Maine is seeking its first playoff berth 2013, when it last won the CAA title, and may have already done enough to earn at least an at-large bid.

“I don’t know. We are 6-1 (in the conference),” said Harasymiak, noting his team also won 31-28 at Western Kentucky, a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent.

The league’s best defense got six tackles and an interception from Jeffrey DeVaughn, and five tackles and a sack from Jaron Grayer, as Richmond tried to avoid Sheffield.

“That is what we pride ourselves on – stop the run. We know each game it is going to be on us,” DeVaughn said of the Maine defense.

The victory came at a cost, as Maine quarterback Chris Ferguson had to leave the game in the third quarter after being sacked. He appeared to hurt his right shoulder – perhaps a recurrence of an injury that forced him to miss 21/2 games earlier in the season.

“We will have to re-evaluate him and see what is going on,” Harasymiak said. “I felt it was a good time to take him out.”

Before leaving, Ferguson completed 20 of 32 passes for 229 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Jaquan Blair had seven catches for 59 yards and one touchdown, while Micah Wright had five catches with one touchdown and returned a punt 38 yards.

Maine led 21-3 at halftime and made it 28-3 midway through the third quarter after a fumble recovery by Lowe.

It was another victory south of the Mason-Dixon line for Maine, which won last week at Towson. The Black Bears have had a road-heavy schedule, with 7 of their 10 games on the road.

“I am just so proud to be their coach,” Harasymiak said.

Now the Black Bears are in position to win the CAA championship – an idea that seemed unthinkable back in July when the league’s coaches picked them to finish eighth.

And Maine was able to celebrate the win with the family of Minor.

“Probably the best moment of the season. We have been through a lot together,” Harasymiak said. “It was great to have them here for the win.”